Fort Frye girls top Rosecrans, 51-42

BEVERLY – The host Fort Frye Cadets rebounded nicely from their first loss of the season as they defeated a very tough Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans girls basketball team 51-42 Thursday night in a non- conference battle.

The Cadets, who dropped a tough 52-49 decision to Eastern Saturday in the Ohio River Classic, grabbed a 28-23 halftime lead and never let the Bishops get any closer to win their 10th game in 11 decisions on the season.

Senior Taylor Buchanan tossed in 12 points for the Cadets, including the 1,000th of her outstanding high school career.

“That is a well-earned accomplishment for Taylor,” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “She has played and played well since she was a freshman.”

Morgan Liedtke got things underway for the Cadets with an old-fashioned three-point play, and Buchanan and Micayla Hupp followed with field goals to give the Fort an early 7-0 lead.

Jessie Smith of Rosecrans and Fort Frye’s Brooke Borich traded 3-pointers midway through the quarter before the Bishops went on a 12-2 run to grab a 19-16 lead early in the second quarter.

Fort Frye answered that run with one of its own as Shawntell Parsons and Diedra Combs capped a 10-0 Cadet surge with back-to-back 3-balls to send the red, white and blue up by seven at 26-19.

“I knew they (Rosecrans) were going to come to play and this was going to be a battle,” said coach Liedtke. “We had our highs and lows and let them have a run, but we came right back there in the second quarter.”

A last-second shot by Rosecrans junior guard Alexis Kirkbride trimmed the lead to five as both teams headed to intermission.

A free throw by Buchanan got the second half started for the Fort and Combs followed with a three-point play to send the Cadet lead to 32-23.

Minutes later, Buchanan connected on a short jumper for her seventh point of the game and the 1,000th of her Cadet career.

“I was always told that if you treat the game right, then it will pay off for you,” said Buchanan, who has been a part of sectional-winning teams in all three of her seasons at Fort Frye. “I just went out and played and it just kind of happened. I am pretty happy about it.”

After the game was briefly stopped to honor Buchanan’s feat, Parsons made it a nine-point lead with her second trey of the game.

Kirkbride scored five points in the final minute of the third period to trim the Fort Frye lead to 39-33 heading into the final eight minutes of play.

That would be as close as the Bishops would come as the Cadets handled a full-court press and increased their lead to a game-high nine points at the final buzzer.

“That was a very tough team that we beat tonight,” said coach Liedtke of the Bishops, whose suffered just their second loss in 10 decisions on the season. “I thought our girls showed a lot of character the way they came out and played this game tonight.”

Joining Buchanan in double figures for Fort Frye were Morgan Liedtke with 12 points and Hupp with 10.

Morgan Liedtke also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists in the game.

Kirkbride’s 11 points, including three from behind the arc, paced the Bishops, while Nash and Chandler chipped in with 10 points apiece.

Coach Liedtke hopes that games against tough opponents such as Eastern and Bishop Rosecrans will provide valuable experience for his team as they begin the second half of their season and position themselves for a post-season run.

The 10-1 Cadets will hit the road for a pair of Pioneer Valley Conference games next week as they travel to Hannibal to take on River Monday night and then to Lore City to battle Buckeye Trail on Wednesday.