Frankenmuth is making another trip to the district championship game following a hard-fought 55-35 victory over their rival, the Birch Run Panthers. The first half was back-and-forth as the Eagles got out to a quick 9-0 start, only to see Birch Run respond and cut the lead to 14-9 at the end of the first. The Eagles made another run to start the 2nd quarter and increase the lead to double digits. The Panthers’ all-state guard, Sarah Miller, went on a mini-run to close out the half with the Eagles holding an 8-point lead, 27-19.
Birch Run came out of the locker room and gave the Eagles all they could handle, tying the game at 27-27. Following a Frankenmuth timeout, the Eagles responded with improved defense and a balanced offensive attack, knocking down perimeter shots, while also getting into the paint and scoring inside. Frankenmuth outscored the Panthers 9-0 over the final 5 minutes of the third quarter, and 28-8 for the remainder of the game.
Frankenmuth got great efforts on the offensive end from a trio of youngsters. Freshman Lexi Boyke had another monster game with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocked shots. Sophomores Zoey Persails and Emma Kerkau added 14 and 13 points, respectively, with Kerkau adding 5 boards. Senior point guard Kelynn Kujat added 5 points, 4 rebounds and dished out 4 assists without committing a turnover. Sydney Merrihew led a group of Eagle defenders who did a great job of slowing down Birch Run’s Sarah Miller, who finished with a game-high 20 points.
The Eagles now advance to play onFriday night against TVC East foe, Bridgeport, who defeated Saginaw Arthur Hill in the other semifinal. The championship is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 PM at Clio High School.