Frankfort Ends Historic Campaign in Division 4 Finals

EAST LANSING – A dream season for Frankfort came to an end Saturday in the MHSAA Division 4 state finals at Michigan State’s Breslin Center.

Making its first-ever appearance in a state championship game, Frankfort fell to defending Class D state champion and third-ranked Southfield Christian 63-39.

Unranked, Frankfort’s run to the state final was a surprise for many. Prior to Saturday, first-year head coach Dan Loney’s squad had recorded late-game heroics in its regional final, quarterfinal and semifinal wins.

“It was a whirlwind of a game,” Loney said. “Nobody really expected as to be here. These guys worked their tails off all year and they never quit. No matter how much we were down, these guys never quite, and as a coach, that’s all you can ask for.

“I’m so proud of these guys. They set the tone for the program. This is where we want to be, and these guys did a good job of getting us here.”

Southfield Christian (21-6) opened Saturday’s contest with a 24-12 lead after the first quarter behind 58.8 percent shooting. The Eagles doubled their lead at the half with a 44-20 edge.

The Eagles finished the game by shooting 45.1 percent from the floor (23-of-51) and held their largest lead at 32 with 4:58 remaining in the fourth.

Will Newbold posted eight of his team-high 17 points in the first half for Frankfort as Jack Reznich and Luke Hammon chipped in with five points apiece.

Frankfort freshman Blake Miller became the star of the show in the final four minutes Saturday and had fans from both schools and across the Breslin Center chanting “MVP.” Miller finished second in scoring and led the Frankfort bench with seven points, two rebounds and a pair of steals.

Da’Jion Humphrey paced three Eagles in double figures with a game-high 20 points and five rebounds while Jon Sanders tallied 19 points and Noah Rheker had 10.

Southfield Christian converted 16 turnovers into 17 points and outscored Frankfort in the paint 26-16.

Despite losing six seniors a year ago, Loney had the Panthers (21-6) rolling at the right time after dropping three of their final six regular-season games, including a 46-32 loss to Buckley in the regular-season finale.

Frankfort’s appearance Saturday marked the third straight year that a program from the Northwest Conference was represented in a state final. Buckley finished runner-up in Class D in 2017 and 2018 while Glen Lake was the Class C runner-up in 2018.

Southfield Christian’s title is its second straight and fifth since 2012.

Categories: Boys Basketball