Markus Frank’s school-record 45 points leads Quaker Valley past Deer Lakes in Class 4A quarterfinals
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 | 10:04 PM
Markus Frank is quiet and modest off the court, but in between the lines, he is a monster.
And Wednesday night, the 6-foot-6 senior added a historic achievement to a stellar career at Quaker Valley.
Frank set a single-game school record by scoring 45 points to propel the top-seeded Quakers to a 66-34 win over No. 8 Deer Lakes in a WPIAL Class 4A boys basketball quarterfinal.
Frank bested teammate Adou Thiero’s mark of 44 points set earlier this season.
“It was great, honestly,” a subdued Frank said about setting a school record. “Playing your last home game … you want it to be big, and that’s exactly what it was. When I got 19 (points), I knew I could get up there, but I didn’t know I was going to break (the record). I thought I could get around 35.”
Quaker Valley (21-0) advanced to play Lincoln Park in the semifinals Saturday at a site and time to be announced. The Quakers also clinched a berth in the state playoffs. Deer Lakes (15-7) will qualify for states if Quaker Valley wins Saturday.
Frank made 20 field goals — all inside the paint. The majority of them were gliding layups with a smooth finish off the glass. He also made five free throws.
“Markus has been spoiling us for quite a while here,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni said. “To get the school record on his last game on his home floor is honestly fitting. His approach to everything is level and unassuming. He’s just a terrific kid and such a high-level individual as well as a basketball player.”
The Quakers played without their other standout, Adou Thiero, for the second half because of an injury, but Mastroianni said it was precautionary and they are hopeful to have him back Saturday.
With Thiero out, Frank took center stage.
He broke the record on a layup late in the fourth quarter, and Thiero was one of the first ones off the bench to greet him.
“(Thiero) is a really supportive teammate,” Frank said. “Even though he wasn’t in the game, he was still excited that I broke the record.”
Deer Lakes led 10-8 late in the first quarter, but Quaker Valley finished the quarter on a 7-0 run with two baskets by Frank and a 3-pointer by Jack Gardinier in the final seconds.
Quaker Valley rolled the momentum into the second, scoring the first 12 points to complete a 19-0 run.
Deer Lakes went nearly eight minutes without a basket during the stretch until Lucas Tiglio scored with 21⁄2 minutes remaining in the first half.
“We had some good looks, but they didn’t fall for us tonight,” Deer Lakes coach Terence Parham said. “I told them it wasn’t a lack of effort. Outside of Frank, we held the rest of the team to 12 points. I feel for our kids. It’s hard to come into the locker room and convince kids that they are winners after a game like that, but they are. We tip our hat to Frank because he made a ton of plays. At times I thought we made it easy for him, by focusing on the other two and losing him at times. He’s a guy who can get a rebound and take it coast to coast.”
Tiglio and Justin Brannagan had eight points each to lead Deer Lakes. The Lancers will have to wait until Saturday to find out if their season will continue.
“The team that we hated the most on this day now, we have to be their biggest fans,” Parham said. “It’s an oxymoron for sure, but that’s where we are at right now.”
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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