The Lebanon and Frankfort basketball teams traded blows for three quarters Friday night.
But in the fourth quarter, the Hot Dogs experience persevered. Frankfort out-scored Lebanon 25-16 in the fourth quarter to win 69-59.
The loss dropped Lebanon to 4-5 and 2-2 in the Sagamore Conference.
"Their physicality and their strength were the difference," Lebanon head coach Albert Hendrix said. "They had it at several positions, not just inside. At times we are playing three freshmen on the floor and they are playing 3-5 seniors on the floor. They had the mental and physical toughness and mentality of a close game at the varsity level and our kids aren't there yet. But take nothing away from kids, we battled all night long. Frankfort has a great team and hopefully we get another shot at them in the sectional."
It is the fourth-straight game that Lebanon has fallen behind by double digits in the first half.
The Tigers have come back to challenge for, or take the lead, in all four games, but are 1-3 in those games.
"They are really playing hard," Hendrix said of his team. "It is just a shame we are digging ourselves in these holes to have to battle out of. On one side it is a good thing because we get that experience, but on the other side it is not good to keep starting slow. Because of our youth and inexperience it makes it hard to get over that hump. But there are a lot of positives in what we are doing. We know that if we get down in a sectional game, regardless of who we are playing, we can come back."
After being tied at 6 early in the game, Frankfort ended the first quarter on a 16-2 run to lead by 14 after a quarter of play.
The Hot Dogs shot 75 percent (15 of 20) from the field in the first half and ended up at 63.2 percent for the game.
"I thought we were timid on defense in the first quarter," Hendrix said. "We didn't get after them like we usually do. They got a lot of open looks and they made them â€” so credit to them for doing that. We made some adjustments in the second quarter and only gave up 10 points. And we did that again in the third quarter. If we do that in the first quarter, this game is down to the wire. Those are things we have to build on and get better at but I'm just proud of our kids."
For more of this story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.