FRANKFORT — What better early morning treat than turnovers?
Frankfort's full-court pressure ate up West Carter en route to a 45-19 romp in Wednesday's opening game of the girls' All "A" Classic basketball tournament.
The Lady Panthers (13-4), No. 9 in the Cantrall tournament rankings, merely had to roll out of bed for an 8:30 a.m. start in their hometown Convention Center.
No. 14 seed West Carter (7-11) finished with more turnovers (32) than points. The Lady Comets were held to two points in the second quarter and two — a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds left — in the fourth.
Frankfort had a 31-2 advantage in points off turnovers and held West Carter to a 17.1 percent (6-for-35) field-goal percentage. The Panthers shot 26.8 percent (15-for-56).
"I've always told the girls that you can't always depend on shooting the ball well," Panthers Coach Deron Norman said. "So we've always focused on our defense, forcing the tempo and forcing turnovers. And I thought that's what they did really well.
"We missed a lot of shot attempts that we normally knock down, definitely due to nerves. But they hung in on defense and made it difficult for them to score. And when we started making them was the time that we could stretch the lead out."
Brianna Burbridge led Frankfort with 11 points, all in the first half. Shauntae Brown added nine points, five rebounds, seven assists and eight of her team's 20 steals.
"We play a fast-paced game," Brown said, "and we know we can turn any team over if we put our minds to it, and that's what we did."
Shanae Brown and Jasmine Washington added eight points each, with the former grabbing 11 rebounds.
"I'm kind of getting used to it," Washington said of the early morning start. "Because we've been doing early practices so we could get prepared for this. ... And we have a love for the game, so any time we have to be up and be here, we'll be here."
The Panthers will have another 8:30 start Friday, when they take on Bishop Brossart in the quarterfinals.
West Carter led 6-2 when Brooke Callihan knocked down two free throws with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
Frankfort scored the next nine points, starting with a Burbridge three-pointer, and never trailed after that.
"We're a little bit turnover-prone. We have been all year ... and we struggled when we did get the ball down in scoring position," West Carter Coach Paul Stevens said. "We struggled to handle it and get in any kind of a set. And gotta give credit to them — they pressured us, and we didn't respond very well.
"That's about the name of the song. When you make 32 turnovers in a game, you're not going to beat anybody."
The Comets were led by Alexis Berry with six points and Megan Centers with 10 rebounds.
Four West Carter players had at least five turnovers.
A 13-2 second quarter pushed Frankfort's lead to 27-10 at intermission, and West Carter had little choice but to abandon the zone defense that had brief effectiveness in the first quarter.
"You come out of a zone against us, we have at any time four ball-handlers on the floor," Norman said. "... They all can handle the basketball, so you pretty much play into what we want when you come out and guard us 'man,' so we just spread the floor. And that's us controlling it."
GIRLS' ALL 'A' CLASSIC
At Frankfort Convention Center
Wednesday's first round
Frankfort 45 West Carter 19
Bishop Brossart 61 Murray 49
Webster Co. 51 Collegiate 26
Newport Catholic 58 Pineville 32
Lou. Holy Cross 59 Leslie Co. 48
Gallatin Co. 64 Danville 59
Owensboro Catholic 65 Green Co. 49
Monroe Co. vs. Magoffin Co. (n)
8:30 a.m. — Frankfort (13-4) vs. Bishop Brossart (17-4)
10 a.m. — Webster Co. (17-2) vs. Newport Catholic (16-4)
11:30 a.m. — Louisville Holy Cross (12-10) vs. Gallatin Co. (18-2)
1 p.m. — Owensboro Catholic (13-5) vs. winner of Monroe Co. (15-3) vs. Magoffin Co. (10-7)
■ Semifinals at 10 and 11:30 a.m.
■ Finals at 12:30 p.m.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229 Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHLBlog: markmaloney.bloginky.com