Frankston Shakes Off Foul Trouble In Bi-District Round To Eliminate Sabine
TYLER — Kendrick Rogers roared back from picking up a fourth foul and sitting late in the third quarter of Monday’s Class 3A bi-district game playoff to guide Frankston to a 50-36 win against Sabine at Tyler Junior College.
Rogers, a 6-5 senior power forward and Texas A&M football signee, scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the contest’s final five minutes to spearhead an 18-3 closing run. With that, the Indians obliterated what had been a 33-32 fourth quarter deficit.
“It was rough,” Rogers said. “I thought deep down, ‘I’m on the bench right now and my team needs me.’ I thought a lot about what to do and what not to do when I got back into the game.”
Sabine (18-11), the fourth-place team from District 17-3A, had its chances before losing control of the game. The team enjoyed essentially eight total minutes of power play time with Rogers and fellow key Indians contributor Justice Bean on the bench in foul trouble.
The Cardinals only managed a plus-two point margin in the duo’s absence, which went an additional three minutes in Bean’s case.
Senior guard Allen Byrd and junior post Zane Porter filled in for Bean and Rogers, respectively.
Rogers and Bean both committed their third fouls before the 4:17 mark of the second quarter and sat for the remainder of the frame. The Cardinals turned an 18-16 deficit into a 22-21 halftime lead while shooting 2-for-9 from the field and 1-of-3 from the free throw line.
Sabine ended the game 13-for-45 from the field, 28.8 percent, and 5-for-11 at the line. Frankston (22-7), the District 16-3A champion, shot 19-for-41 from the floor alone.
Bean picked up his fourth foul at the 3:16 mark of the third quarter and Rogers followed suit with 46.2 seconds left. They sat again.
Sabine only broke a 30-30 tie for a 33-32 lead before the two players were deemed ready by Frankston head coach Robert Loper midway through the final period.
The Cardinals shot 1-for-4 during that span and turned the ball over twice. The Indians managed two points and slowed Sabine down with a four-corners offense from the point Rogers went out until he and Bean came back after a timeout with 4:58 left in the game.
Rogers reclaimed the lead for the Indians, 34-33, while drawing a foul and before making the subsequent free throw with 4:06 to play.
Frankston gave up the lead a final time the next Sabine possession on Tobias Nolen’s 3-point score before scoring 15 straight points.
“I thought down the stretch that maybe our experience of going to the playoffs, three deep, might have helped us,” Loper said. “We were just trying to bide time before we got them back. The kids on the floor did a good job of biding time until they got back. And once they got back, they played very well.”
Bean scored three points in the final minutes for 10 in the game to round out Indians in double-digit figures.
Sabine’s opening 5-0 run — its largest lead of the game — set a tone for the next three and a half quarters. It weathered six lead changes and four tied scores before breaking.
The Indians never held more than a three-point lead until under the three-minute mark of the final period.
Will Shawn’s 14 points led the Cardinals. Luke Somers chipped in 10 points.
“It feels good,” Bean said. “We got a little scare tonight in the first three quarters. I think our experience from last year really pulled us through.”
Ten of 13 players on Sabine’s playoff roster are expected to return to the program next season. Shawn, Somers and Nolen will graduate in May.
Frankston faces the winner of Tuesday’s bi-district playoff game between Little River Academy and Whitney later this week in the area round.
“I’m going to watch them play tomorrow night,” Loper said. “They were here tonight. I know nothing about Little River Academy other than they beat us in the state championship game in 2002 by one point in the last three seconds. We beat Whitney last year in the area game. We’ll start finding out a little bit more about both of them tomorrow night.”
Frankston 50, Sabine 36
Boys Class 3A Bi-District Game
At Wagstaff Gymnasium, Tyler
Sabine 9 13 8 6 — 36
Frankston 9 12 11 18 — 50
SABINE (18-11)— Will Shawn 14, Luke Somers 10, Tobias Nolen 7, River Bennett 2, Anfrenee Love 2, T. Taylor 1.
FRANKSTON (22-7) — Kendrick Rogers 23, Justice Bean 10, Dylan Hokit 6, L.A. Bradford 5, Michael Bradford 5, Zane Porter 1.
THREE-POINT GOALS — Sabine: Shawn (3), Nolen (2). Frankston: Hokit (2).