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For the Frankfort girls, the will to win always came from within.

On Saturday, 14 basketball championships were earned after 14 hard fought boys and girls games. Perhaps none of those 14 teams has quite the story that the Girls 1A Division I Champs, the Frankfort Lady Wildcats does.


There was no big off-season happening that fueled their fire, nor some monumental moment during the season that propelled them to a championship. For Brian Ebert's team the fire, the momentum and the drive to win always came from within. Within the weight room where they worked daily to get the physical edge, within the gymnasium where they put up shot after shot and learned every offensive and defensive set down to a mastery, and most importantly, within every locker room and every bus ride up and down the road in the Twin Valley League.


For the Lady Wildcats, all of those early mornings in the weightroom and those late nights in and out of locker rooms all led to this. The Colby Event Center and the Division I state tournament. As the 6 seed, it was an uphill task for Frankfort. Still, all of the work the Lady Wildcats had done wasn't going to go by the wayside. Step one, 22 win St. John Hudson as the 3 seed. 4 quarters later, a 17 point Frankfort win. Step two, 23 win 2 seed South Gray team who had dismantled their first round opponent by almost 30, 4 quarters later, a 17 point Frankfort win in which they held the Lady Rebels to their lowest point total of the season.


The 3rd and maybe biggest step of all came on Saturday. An undefeated Little River team who had really only been challenged twice all year, coincidentally by two more TVL opponents, Hanover back in December and the Centralia Lady Panthers in Friday's semi-final action.


As the ball was tipped for the Championship game it was clear that Frankfort wasn't going to change anything from what they'd done all year. Even down by as many as 9 points in the first half, the belief never changed.


A 13-4 start to the 2nd half erased a Little River lead, a lead that they would never get back with the Lady Indians only managing 12 points in the final 2 quarters of Saturday's game. Offensively, Seniors Sydney Wapp and Hattie Gros led the way with 15 and 14 points respectively. Wapp and Gros have been mainstays on this team and the Senior class as a whole, will leave long-term impressions on this team and all of Frankfort athletics.


4 quarters, later it was another win for this (23-3) Frankfort team. Wins over the 1,2 and 3 seeds and the first girls basketball championship in school history, but also putting Brian Ebert in elite company as one of only three coaches in state history to win a championship with both the boys and girls teams. The day was theirs. The team, the crowd and I'm sure the remaining residents still in Frankfort on Saturday celebrated. This wasn't a team who started the season with an overwhelming story, but it was a team that finished with a pretty darn good one.

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