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Hot Dogs struggle on offense in opener

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SANDOVAL DRIVES: Frankfort junior Liz Sandoval drives the lane in the first half of the Hot Dogs’ 38-19 loss to Carroll on Wednesday. Sandoval had seven points in the home opener.
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TIGHT QUARTERS: Frankfort’s Payton Dubree works to get a shot off during the Hot Dogs’ loss to Carroll on Wednesday. The sophomore scored eight points in her first varsity start.

BY CLAY MAXFIELD - sports@ftimes.com

A Frankfort girls basketball squad starting three sophomores and two juniors in their home opener on Wednesday with Carroll found themselves outmatched in size and struggled offensively in falling 38-19.

Frankfort had just four players score, with Payton Dubree breaking a five-and-a-half-minute drought with a layup after each team traded possessions without getting on the scoreboard. Later in the quarter, the Hot Dogs’ Liz Sandoval went coast to coast to give Frankfort a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Cougars found their footing in the second period, opening the stanza on an 8-2 run before finishing the half with a 13-6 advantage. Frankfort’s lone bucket came on another score by Dubree in the paint by Dubree with less than three minutes remaining before the break.

Despite the lack of offense, Frankfort head coach Joe Marsh expressed confidence in the outlook of his squad after the game.

“We’re trying to play to our strengths, understanding there’s going to be some bumps in the road with eight new faces and we’re not at full strength yet,” he said. “Our offensive looks were there tonight and we’ll hit those as the season goes along.”

Marsh praised the effort from his young team and highlighted sophomore Dubree for her play.

“I thought our effort was great but the execution is something we will have to improve on,” he said. “Our best player tonight was Payton Dubree. Defensively, she’s asked to do a lot and offensively she was able to find her way to the basket.

“Everybody’s trying to find their role,” Marsh added. “We just need to settle down and find our groove. We don’t know who’s going to be our go-to, who’s going to get that rebound and that’s one of those things about having a brand new team.”

The Hot Dogs graduated all five starters from last season’s team, which included about 90 percent of their scoring and rebounding.

Along with problems scoring, Frankfort was also outrebounded 36-15 by Carroll and committed 17 turnovers on the night.

Marsh noted that rebounding is something his team needs to improve on as the season progresses considering their lack of size.

“We are small and that’s going to be something that teams look to take advantage of,” he said. We weren’t mentally executing what we wanted to do game-plan wise as far as making sure we weren’t getting pinned behind that post. Rebounding is going to be an issue and it’s going to be something that we don’t want to let size be our excuse for. So, it’s something we will look to improve on.”

Carroll outscored the Hot Dogs 18-4 in the third quarter, including multiple trips to the free-throw line.

Despite the loss, Frankfort had some positives holding Carroll to 35% shooting and defending the 3-point line well where Carroll was 0-7 from beyond the arc. The Hot Dogs also forced the Cougars into 20 turnovers with their defensive pressure.

Dubree led Frankfort with eight points and six rebounds, while Sandoval chipped in with seven points and had three steals.

Frankfort travels to Fountain Central on Saturday for a matchup against the Mustangs; tip-off is 7:30 p.m.

Marsh noted several places the Hot Dogs will focus on in Saturday’s game against a Fountain Central team that went 3-20 last season.

“Zone offense is something we are going to look at,” he said. “We spent a lot of time this week on man and not being at full strength yet, it was an issue on understanding where we need to look, understanding what our girl’s options are going to be and seeing the whole floor.”

At Frankfort

COUGARS 38, HOT DOGS 19

Carroll 3 10 18 7 – 38

Frankfort 4 2 4 9 – 19

3-point goals: Carroll (0), Frankfort (Sandoval 1). Total Fouls: Carroll 14, Frankfort 10.