Turnovers spark Fort Frye to win over Ridgewood

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Fort Frye’s pressure defense was too much for the Ridgewood Generals Thursday evening as the Cadets cruised to a 65-38 victory in a district semifinal matchup at Steubenville High School.

Fort Frye will now play either West Muskingum or Indian Valley in a district final contest Saturday again at Steubenville.

The Generals kept it close in spite of eight turnovers in the first quarter, down just 14-12 after one stanza. However, the Cadets turned it up a notch in the second period, forcing 10 more miscues to make it a 20-point game at halftime, and Ridgewood couldn’t recover.

“We’re getting a lot better at defending the full court,” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “We knew coming in that one thing they had on us was size. We felt our guard play was a lot better than theirs, so we wanted to keep the pressure on them. A lot of the pressure stuff we did created a lot of turnovers.”

The Cadets opened the second quarter on a 16-0 run, led by two 3-pointers apiece from junior Brooke Borich and senior Morgan Liedtke.

Kelsey Miller’s basket with 3:37 left in the half was the first of the quarter for the Generals and cut it to 30-14. Senior Taylor Buchanan quickly hit back-to-back layups off Ridgewood turnovers to bring it to a 20-point game again. Miller would hit a trey and a putback layup, but Borich countered with a jumper and a 3-ball to make it 39-19 at the half.

“My team found me when I was open,” Borich said. “My shots were falling and everything just clicked tonight for our team.”

Things wouldn’t get better for Ridgewood in the second half, as Fort Frye scored 12 of the first 16 points of the third quarter to make things ugly at 51-23. A triple from Morgan Liedtke and back-to-back jumpers from senior Micayla Hupp paced the Cadet run.

Overall, Fort Frye forced 29 turnovers and committed 13. The Cadets continued to shoot the lights out, connecting on 26-of-51 (51 percent) shot attempts. Percentage-wise, the Generals actually outshot the Cadets, hitting 53 percent of their attempts, but were limited to just 32 shots due to turnovers.

Buchanan scored 17 points and posted seven rebounds to lead the way for the Cadets. Borich chipped in 14 points while Morgan Liedtke and senior Deidra Combs each added 12. Combs also had a game-high five steals.

“It was obviously a team effort tonight,” Borich said. “I came out and I was ready to win. I wanted to make it to that next step for the seniors because we’ve got four of them and they start and they work really hard. We wanted to win it for them.”

Ridgewood was led by Miller’s 17 markers.

Fort Frye, a game away from yet another regional appearance, improved to 22-3 on the season with the win.