FRANKFORT — With heavy hearts, the Sayre girls' basketball team went out Wednesday night and did the only thing it could.
Win a basketball game.
The Lady Spartans downed Model, 60-37, in the opening round of the 11th Region Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic. Sayre will meet Berea next, Friday at 6 p.m.
Wednesday's game was Sayre's first since Jalen Byrd, a member of the boys' team, was killed Saturday in an auto accident.
"We met as a team and we talked about whether we were going to practice or not," said Grace Rahman, a senior guard. "We decided to practice for this game so that we can win the tournament for him."
"We're going to win it for him," added Gabby Bowie, who led Wednesday's win with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Playing a game at such a time was not easy, though.
"It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be," Bowie said. "It's kind of just hitting us now; it's real. But we wanted it for him and dedicated the game to him, so I'm glad we got the 'W' for him."
Sayre scored the first nine points of the game and remained in control throughout.
Bowie, a 6-foot-3 junior, had her way when she got the ball on the block. Bowie, plus Sayre's 20 assists, were big reasons why the Spartans (10-4) outscored Model 50-12 in the paint.
"Any time we play anybody with any size — I've got five guards — we get hurt inside on rebounding, put-backs, things like that," Patriots coach Bobby Storie said. "We knew going in we were in that situation.
"And the start really hurt us. We had some chances at the beginning to keep the score where we wanted it, to play at our pace. And when we missed some opportunities, missed some layups and made some really bad turnovers with nobody around us, it kind of put us behind the eight-ball."
The Lady Spartans led 28-15 at halftime, getting 10 points each by Molly Manella and Bowie.
While Sayre shot 43.3 percent (13 of 30) and committed four turnovers, Model made only 13 percent (3 of 23) and turned the ball over 10 times.
Model (5-11) never came closer than 13 points in the second half.
After Bowie, Sayre got 10 points each from Rahman and Manella, the latter also notching five assists and six steals.
Darrian Botts and Hayley Hunter, the only high schoolers on Model's young roster, finished with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Hunter also totaled 10 rebounds, three assists and four steals.
"I really didn't know what to expect with the week we've had," Sayre coach Scotty Sutton said. "Honestly, that's kind of what I thought — that we would come out and play hard. But then we got sloppy and tired, and I expected that with what's gone on this week. Their thoughts, you could just tell their minds were wandering at times.
"It's a tough situation. We've talked a lot and been there for each other, so I'm proud of them tonight."
Lexington Christian 62, Frankfort 47: Drew Trimble scored 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Michael Young had 21 points to spark the Eagles in the boys' half of the doubleheader.
Jalen Washington topped the Panthers with 12 points.
LCA led 27-25 at halftime, with Trimble providing 17. Anthony Robinson scored nine for Frankfort.
A 16-3 third quarter blew the game open, though.
Young, doing most of his damage from close range, muscled in eight third-quarter points for LCA (10-7). Trimble added five, while John Stein had three.
LCA outscored the Panthers in the paint 38-22. The Eagles also shot 48 percent (24 of 50), while Frankfort (5-14) finished at 30.9 percent (17 of 55).
LCA's bench, led by Young, outscored Frankfort's 27-4.
Sayre 60, Model 37
SAYRE (10-4) — Brady 4, Strup 5, Bowie 22, Rahman 10, Manella 10, White 6, Alford 3. Totals 28-53 4-7 60.
MODEL (5-11) — Albande 0, Vickers 3, Hunter 16, D. Botts 18, Smith 0, Totals 10-46 16-18 37
Sayre 17 11 12 20—60
Model 6 9 8 14—37
Three-point goals — Sayre 0-2; Model 1-13.
Lexington Christian 62, frankfort 47
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (10-7) — Stein 3, Nighbert 8, Trimble 22, Hill 2, DeMoss 0, Schact 4, Young 21, Whitman 2. Totals 24-50 12-15 62.
FRANKFORT (5-14) — Washington 12, Robinson 9, Skelton 9, Smith 5, Quire 8, Winkfield 4. Totals 17-55 9-13 47.
Lexington Christian 11 16 16 19—62
Frankfort 15 10 3 19 —47
Three-point goals — LCA 2-13; Frankfort 4-16.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.