FRANKFORT — With a share of the Sagamore Conference boys’ basketball title on the line, Tri-West made the trip to Frankfort Friday night for its regular season finale.
Tri-West was unable to close the deal, and Frankfort played the role of spoiler in a 78-58 Bruins defeat. The loss handed county and conference rival Danville the outright Sagamore title.
“We played our worst game of our entire year tonight, in my opinion,” Tri-West coach Adam Bontreger said. “We knew it was going to be a huge game coming in here with an opportunity to tie for conference, and we just didn’t come ready to perform.”
An abysmal fourth quarter sunk Tri-West, as the Bruins hit only three field goals and were outscored 31-14 after being within two after the third. Tri-West’s Austin Musial hit the Bruins’ first shot at the 3:26 mark.
“I thought our defensive intensity picked up and we stopped allowing second- and third-chance attempts, and I thought that was key in the fourth quarter,” Frankfort coach Tom Weeks said.
Frankfort continued its late-season winning streak, stretching it to seven, and enters the postseason on a roll.
Bontreger said 17 second-half turnovers were partly to blame for the loss and offered no excuses, crediting the defensive play of Frankfort.
“We just didn’t handle the big-game scenario tonight like we needed to,” Bontreger said. “Frankfort is a veteran team and has won a couple of sectional titles recently. They just out-physicaled us tonight.”
Frankfort hit 28 of 35 free throws while the Bruins knocked down 19 of 25 from the line.
Trevor Waite led the Bruins with 19 points, 12 of those coming from the charity stripe. Musial added 16 for Tri-West and Brant Gadberry pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
Frankfort (15-6, 5-2) got a boost with its all-senior lineup for Senior Night, as it shot 6 of 14 in the first quarter to lead Tri-West 17-10.