After North’s 76-43 season-opening win over Northwest on Friday, fans swarmed the scorer’s scorers’ table to find out how many points North star guard Conner Frankamp had just dropped on the Grizzlies.
Soon, they’ll be asking about more than just points.
In a well-rounded performance that showed his offseason improvements, Frankamp satisfied the curious with 46 points on 14-of-25 shooting, including 7 of 12 three-pointers and 11 of 11 from the free-throw line.
Frankamp also grabbed 10 rebounds, dished three assists with two steals and a block while committing one turnover.
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His 27th point, which came, along with his 28th, on a basket early in the third quarter, put him ahead of South’s Ricky Ross for fourth place on the City League career scoring list. Frankamp’s total after Friday is 1,687, 52 behind Aubrey Sherrod for third.
Frankamp has always displayed a multi-faceted game, but rarely have his other traits been as noticeable as his scoring. Friday, he crashed the boards with a determination that made it evident that he saw rebounding as an area of growth.
"It’s one thing I’ve been working on," Frankamp said. "I try to get my team involved, as well. I thought I played a pretty good all-around game tonight.... I take a lot of pride in it, working on my jumping and defense and everything."
North, picked to win the league, played with a confidence and swagger fitting for a favorite.
Feeding off Frankamp’s self-assuredness and sensing the weaknesses of an opponent that graduated almost all of its best players, including four-year players Craig Nicholson and Spenser Gales, the Redskins built a comfortable lead by the end of the first quarter and a virtually insurmountable one in the second.
Five Redskins combined to score the first 10 points of the second quarter and Frankamp capped the 13-0 run with his second three-pointer during that stretch to put North ahead 30-8.
North’s previous weakness, its post play, was strong as Sean Bernard and Daniel Mathiasen combined for eight points and nine rebounds.
"This league is so tough that any night, some team can (sneak) up on you," North coach Gary Squires said. "That’s how we approach it every day in practice. I tell them every day, we’ve got to get better. If we keep getting better, I think in time we can be pretty good."
That’s the hope Northwest coach Chris Collins has for his team, too. The Grizzlies have almost a completely new team, turnover that is also being experienced on many CL teams other than North.
Collins, whose previous four years coincided with the complete careers of Gales and Nicholson, hasn’t experienced much but success at Northwest. An inexperienced team may not give him as much of that, but the mental test of playing against Frankamp and in front of the packed crowd he brought at Northwest could help the Grizzlies in the future.
"I was anticipating us putting up a better performance," Collins said. "That’s going to come."
NORTH: Z. Beard 1 4-7 6, Williams 2 0-0 4, Shockley 0 0-1 0, Frankamp 14 11-11 46, Bernard 2 0-0 4, Villa 2 0-0 5, Deroulet 2 0-0 4, Bogle 0 3-4 3, Mathiasen 2 0-0 4. Totals 25 (8) 18-23 76.
NORTHWEST: Brown 1 0-0 3, Williams 3 3-5 11, Carson 4 0-0 9, Johnston 3 2-2 8, Darr 0 0-0 0, Lolar 2 2-4 6, Cobb 0 0-0 0, Carr 2 2-2 6, Grant 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 (4) 9-13 43.