BY MARK SALUKE KOKOMO TRIBUNE
---- — FRANKTON – The scoreboard said enough, but the final boxscore told an even more lopsided story as the Taylor boys’ basketball team dropped its season opener, 89-45, at Frankton Saturday night.
Already facing a 20-6 deficit one quarter in, the Titans couldn’t answer the Eagles second-quarter onslaught as Frankton (2-0) outscored Taylor 34-6 in the frame to go up 54-12 at the half.
“Midway through the second quarter, I’m looking around and thinking that I might run out of timeouts before halftime,” Taylor coach Andy Lewman said. “We’ve got a lot to work on. We showed a little bit of heart in the second half. We’ve got some ability, it’s just a matter of whether or not we can get things pulled together.”
By the time the Titans put together a manageable quarter — outscoring the Eagles 23-13 in the third frame — the deficit was much too huge to overcome as Frankton’s defensive pressure took Taylor out of the game early. The Eagles forced the Titans into 27 turnovers with the majority of those coming over the first 16 minutes as Frankton built the 42-point intermission lead.
“We’re not going to win many games with 20 turnovers in the first half,” Lewman said.
While Frankton’s defensive clamps held Taylor to a 5 of 16 performance from the field in the first half, the Eagles’ offense shot 67 percent from the field (22 of 33). Frankton shot 64 percent for the game, knocking down 36 of 56 shot attempts.
“We were lethargic on defense,” Lewman said. “We can’t give up that many points in a half. We gave up a boat load of layups in the first half, especially in that second quarter. It’s just impossible to come back from somebody scoring 34 in a quarter. We know we’re a work in progress. We’re young, and Frankton is a very good basketball team.”
Calvin Wheeler paced the Titans with 10 points. Latrell Mitchell added eight points and four rebounds, while sophomore Darian Stone chipped in seven points and four boards off the bench.
Frankton senior Aaron Korn was held to 15 points after going for 24 against Eastern Wednesday night.
“We made other guys beat us,” Lewman said. “They ended up with five guys in double digits, another with seven points, two more with six…they just spread the ball out and that’s really hard to stop.”
Jordan Reeves finished with 16 points on 6 of 6 shooting to lead the Eagles. Bailey Threet finished with 13 off the bench. Austin Compton had 12 and Nick Wright added 10 as nine Frankton players scored.
Taylor also saw nine of its 11 players who took the floor score. The Titans finished the game shooting 48 percent (16 of 33) from the field.