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Hot Dogs searching for answers

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QUESTIONS:Frankfort players walk dejectedly off the court following their 10th straight loss of the season to Maconaquah on Saturday.
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OPEN MAN?: Frankfort’s Jade Ayers looks for an open man during Saturday’s loss to Maconaquah.
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ON THE MOVE: Frankfort’s Braden Compton looks up the court during Saturday’s game with Maconaquah.
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UP FOR 2: Frankfort’s Caden Stine, left, goes up for a basket in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

Frankfort looked like they may have found something in the second quarter of Saturday’s boys basketball game against visiting Maconaquah as they surged from a 14-6 first-quarter deficit to a 24-19 halftime lead before falling 48-36. The defeat extended their losing streak to 10 after a season-opening win over Clinton Prairie.

The Hot Dogs had assists on five of their seven buckets in the second quarter with several reserves on the court.

“That is something that hasn’t happened all year,” Frankfort head coach Nate VanDuyne said. “It’s not like (assisted baskets are) a tell-all stat, but it is a stat that shows connectedness on your team.

“I do think when you see that many assisted buckets in a quarter that shows a real effort was made to play together. You saw them celebrating together, you saw them doing things together. I mean, the way that they boxed out.”

“That’s what got us back in the game was that they were connected and we’ve got to figure out how to get a unit, a full team to do that for 32 minutes,” he noted. “Right now, it seems like depending on the night it’s three quarters, some nights it’s zero quarters. But, we’ve just got to find a way to unify and find a way to rally around each other and do what we want to do.”

The Hot Dogs (1-10) had starting center Jayce Moore, Caden Stine, Braden Compton, Trey Frazier and sophomore Jade Ayers, who has seen little varsity playing time this year and had limited time available after the junior varsity game, during the second-quarter drive. VanDuyne didn’t make the lineup change on purpose, but rode with the unit as they scored nine straight points (six by Stine and a 3 by Frazier) to start the quarter and erase the Braves’ first-quarter lead.

“No, it wasn’t intentional, “ he said. “We were just looking for five guys that would just play hard. Rebound, transition defense, those are two areas that indicate how hard you are playing. I just didn’t feel they were giving very good effort on the defensive boards (in the first quarter).

“Transition defense was a key,” he continued. “We gave up five, seven transition buckets in the first quarter. I wasn’t pleased with the intensity level we were playing with, so I was just searching for five guys that would give us that.”

A similar unit minus Ayers started the second half, but a change by Maconaquah (4-6) to a trapping 1-3-1 half-court defense seemed to break up the rythm found in the previous quarter and they retook the lead, 26-25, at the 4:35 mark of the third quarter.

“The guys that we had in the third quarter were a fairly easy to trap lineup, but I thought they played through it,” VanDuyne said. “They still played hard. (They) turned it over a good chunk of the time, and that’s going to be a good learning experience for those guys that played.”

Moore tied the game up with a bucket off a drive with 3:45 left in the quarter, but it was the last basket the Hot Dogs would get in the quarter as the Braves pushed out to a 36-26 lead after three periods with Maconaquah’s Cole Borden hitting three 3-pointers during the run.

Moore scored a minute into the fourth, but Frankfort would not get any closer as the lead ballooned out to 47-31 with 3:30 to play on a Brayden Betzner 3-pointer. The Hot Dogs’ Casey Henry scored five points (including a 3) in the next minute to close out Frankfort’s scoring.

Moore led the Hot Dogs in scoring with 10 points, with Henry adding seven and Frazier and Stine six each. Compton had five and Caleb Henry two.

VanDuyne believes consistent effort and believing in each other is what needs to occur for a turnaround to occur.

“We can talk a lot about Xs and Os, but the reality is it’s the intangibles we’ve got to clean up,” he said. “Like playing hard from the start, playing unselfishly, playing together, supporting your teammate, those things.”

VanDuyne agreed the team played with passion in their opening season win, but said the difference since is being committed all the time.

“I think consistency, consistency is the biggest thing in practice, too,” he noted. “We’ve got to find a way where we can stack good practices on top of one another throughout the week. We have a good one and then we have a bad one … and it’s just not consistent. Once we find consistency, I think you’ll see our trajectory turn around a little bit.”

Frankfort next plays at Western Boone (5-4) on Friday starting at 7:30 p.m.

BRAVES 48, HOT DOGS 36

Maconaquah – Totals 16 9-14 48.

Frankfort – Moore 4 1-2 10, Casey Henry 3 0-0 7, Frazier 2 0-0 6, Stine 3 0-2 6, Caleb Henry 1 0-0 2, Compton 1 2-2 5, Valdes Sandoval 0 0-0 0, Ayers 0 0-0 0, Frazier 0 0-0 0, Mejia 0 0-0 0, Grasham 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 3-6 36.

Maconaquah 14 5 17 12 -- 48

Frankfort 6 18 2 10 -- 36

3-point goals – Maconaquah (7), Frankfort (Frazier 2, Casey Henry 1, Moore 1, Compton 1). Total fouls – Maconaquah 10, Frankfort 12.