By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
It’s been quite a school year in athletics for the Frost Polar Bears.
And it’s still going strong.
On Thursday night, the Frost boys basketball team will be in the spotlight when the Polar Bears (15-6) play Blum (15-12) in a Region III-IA DII area round playoff game at 7 p.m. at Hillsboro High School.
The boys basketball team can become the third Frost squad to win a playoff game this school year — the Polar Bears had a first-round bye for bi-district after winning the District 19-1A DII title.
The football team equaled the 1989 Polar Bear team’s 12-2 record and regional final appearance for the deepest trip in the playoffs in school history.
The Lady Polar Bears’ basketball team won 28 games, the winningest season in Frost girls 5-on-5 basketball history. Frost lost to Strawn, 62-45, in a 1A DII regional quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
And don’t forget the Lady Polar Bears’ volleyball team, which made the playoffs.
It’s a tribute to the coaches — Blenden in football and boys basketball, Clark Moore in girls basketball and Elaine Woods in volleyball. And don’t forget boys assistants Heath Blalock and Jimmy Alexander.
“This year both on the girls and guys side, that just comes from the kids really understanding hard work pays off,” said Blenden, in his third season as basketball head coach and first in football. “That’s a great compliment for the coaches who put in a lot of hard work. I know Coach Moore and Coach Woods work hard and Coach Blalock and Coach Alexander help me a lot around here.”
The boys basketball team is 28-0 in district the last three years, receiving first-round byes each time. But the Polar Bears are looking to get over the area-round hump Thursday night.
Frost has lost three consecutive area round games in 2010 to Irving Universal (41-40), in 2011 to Roxton (66-61) and 2012 to Dodd City (65-46).
In Frost’s defense, the Polar Bears have faced tough teams in the area round. Roxton ended up in the state championship and Dodd City went to the regional final.
“It hasn’t been a normal area-round game,” Blenden said.
Blenden is counting on two things — Frost is playing great basketball and the Polar Bears’ success in the football playoffs.
Frost, which prides itself on defense, has allowed 27 points per game in 12 district wins.
“The last two weeks has been some of best basketball we’ve played in a long time,” Blenden said. “We’ve done a good job of learning on the run. It’s all about defense. You can have a bad night shooting. But you can’t have a bad night on defense if you really get after it.”
Frost won three football playoff games with basically the same cast of players playing basketball. Blenden said the players should be ready to win on the hardwood after playing in high intensity games on the gridiron, ones that ended in three Frost victories and a narrow loss to Tenaha.
“I have a belief that winning breeds winning,” Blenden said. “Here in the past Frost only just won in basketball. We’re trying to make this a full four- or five-sport program.”