Kendrick Rogers’ Last-Second Putback Sends Frankston Past Waskom + to Regionals For First Time Since 2004
TATUM -- Frankston and Waskom traded blows for four quarters in Tuesday's regional quarterfinal as each team took advantage of their strength -- a classic battle between size and speed.
In the end, it was Frankston's presence at the rim that decided the outcome.
Kendrick Rogers' putback with 1.4 seconds remaining sent Frankston to a hard-fought 51-50 defeat of No. 14 Waskom in front of a spirited crowd at Eagle Coliseum.
The win assured Frankston (24-7) of its first appearance at regionals since 2004. The Indians will play No. 11 East Chambers at 7:30 p.m. Friday from Hewitt Midway High School in the second Class 3A Region III semifinal.
"These kids got to this game last year and got beat in the regional quarterfinals," said Frankston coach Robert Loper. "We definitely wanted to get on to that next step, so here we are."
With less than 30 seconds remaining and Waskom leading 50-49, Frankston was forced to foul the Wildcats three times before Waskom finally entered the bonus and went to the free throw line with 11.9 seconds to play.
Eric Stephens III missed the front end of the one-and-one, leaving Frankston a little more than 10 seconds on the clock after calling its final timeout.
Frankston's Justice Bean drove toward the basket, but the lane was blocked, forcing the Indians to attempt a contested shot. The ball bounced off the glass, and the 6-foot-5 Rogers outjumped Waskom for the offensive rebound and go-ahead putback.
"Not at all, it went the total opposite," said Rogers on the final play's design. "That was not how we expected it to go, but it worked out in our favor and I'm glad it did."
Following a timeout, Waskom inbounded to Kaleb Haynes, whose halfcourt heave sailed wide of the basket.
Rogers, a wide receiver who signed with Texas A&M last month, said he still has something to give his community before graduation.
"It means a lot," he said. "I'm helping my community and my town get back to the old basketball we used to be. And I'm just making more memories with my classmates and my friends that I won't see for a while."
Rogers finished the night 19 points and 18 rebounds to go along with a pair of assists.
"We just had to try to stay out of trouble and get the ball to (Rogers) as much as possible," Loper said. "And we didn't get it to him enough, but we got it to him enough to win the ball game."
The Indians' senior post outrebounded the entire Waskom roster, as Frankston held a massive 39-16 edge on the boards.
"It was good that we had a little bit of a height advantage because they're quicker than all get-out," Rogers said of Waskom.
Rogers wasn't the only Frankston player to register a double-double, as senior Justice Bean finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"Our post presence inside was one of the things we had to take advantage of because they were so much quicker than we were," Loper said. "They could defend us well on the perimeter, force us to the sideline, and double us."
L.A. Bradford added 16 points, including the only two Frankston 3's of the night.
Stephens III led Waskom on the night with 19 points, which included three first-half 3-pointers, and five steals. However, he was limited to six points after halftime and did not score in the fourth.
"We just did a little bit better job of staying closer to him," Loper said. "He got some good looks in the first half, some real good looks in the first half. We just crowded him a little more."
Haynes, who had 12 points, drained a 3-pointer from 30 feet as time expired in the third quarter to give Waskom its largest lead of the night -- 41-37 -- heading into the final period.
Each team traded baskets on the first four possessions of the fourth before Frankston went on a 6-0 run to re-take the lead, 47-45, on a layup from Bean with 3:52 remaining.
Keileon Johnson's 3-pointer on the next series gave the lead right back to Waskom, only to be followed by a Dylan Hokit basket that regained the lead for Frankston, 49-48, with 3:19 to go.
Frankston left the door open for Waskom by missing five consecutive free throws inside the game's final three minutes, including an 0-for-2 trip for Bean with 50.7 seconds remaining and Frankston trailing, 50-49.
But Frankston was given one last opportunity with its final possession.
"We gave it to Bean and we were going to try to get the ball to the middle," Loper said. "If Bean couldn't get it all the way to the bucket, he was going to lay it up to Kendrick. As it turned out, he didn't get it to Kendrick, but he got the backside rebound and stuck it in. That was just a scramble off of a play … it was just one of those things we had to do, we had to get the ball up on the glass."
Frankston controlled the game early, scoring the contest's first seven points. But Haynes hit four consecutive free throws to the tie game, 13-13, in the opening stages of the second quarter, and Waskom ultimately grabbed its first lead, 26-24, on Stephens III's third 3-pointer of the half with 1:34 until intermission.
Neither team led by more than three points in the third until Haynes' long-range 3 at the buzzer swelled Waskom's advantage to 41-37.
"In football we saw them, and they beat our butts pretty badly," Rogers said of Waskom, which won the 3A Division II football championship in December. "We wanted revenge on them, and it was going to be kinda hard with all their athletes, but we pulled it out together and got the win."
Frankston 51, No. 14 Waskom 50
Boys Class 2A Region III Quarterfinal
At Eagle Coliseum, Tatum
Waskom 9 16 14 9 -- 50
Frankston 13 14 10 14 -- 51
WASKOM (15-7) -- Eric Stephens III, 19; Kaleb Haynes, 12; Mike Reason, 9; KT Ceaser, 5; Keileon Johnson, 3; Chan Amie, 2.
FRANKSTON (24-7) -- Kendrick Rogers, 19; L.A. Bradford, 16; Justice Bean, 11; Dylan Hokit, 2; Zane Porter, 2; Brandon Harris, 1.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Waskom: Stephens III (3), Haynes, Johnson, Reason. Frankston: Bradford (2).