South Patriots best Fort Frye, 63-39
BEVERLY — A very young Fort Frye Cadet team knew they would have to play their very best basketball if they were to have any chance at all at competing against a very deep and experienced Parkersburg South squad.
What the Cadets didn’t need was for South to be at their very best.
Unfortunately for long-time Cadet head coach Dan Liedtke and his Cadets, the Patriots came out on fire as they canned 11-of-18 downtown shots and forced 20 turnovers en route to a 63-39 win at Cadet Gym Monday evening.
Senior Alyssa Wilson led the long-range barrage for South as she drilled five 3-pointers in the game including four in the opening period as South broke open a close game by out-pointing Fort Frye 34-13 in the second and third quarters combined to improve to 2-0 on the year.
“We know we are not going to shoot that kind of a percentage every night but we have a veteran group of girls who we are confident in,” said second-year South head coach Ed Davis. “We were a little shaky at the beginning of the game and I think those shots by Alyssa kind of relaxed everybody else.”
South pulled out to a seven-point lead late in the first before a pair of free throws by Kiersten Kesselring and a triple by Mackenzie White pulled the Cadets to within two (15-13) at the end of the first quarter.
South amped up the pressure in the second and forced Fort Frye into eight turnovers as they quickly scored the first nine points of the second quarter to expand their lead to double-digits at 24-13.
All nine of those Patriot points came from senior guard Devin Hefner.
A duece and 3 by Cadet freshman Olivia Schneider briefly cut the lead to nine but back-to-back treys by South’s Allie Taylor extended the Patriot lead to 34-21 at the intermission.
The Cadets got started in a great way in the second half as Kesselring completed an old-fashioned three-point play but South sophomore pivot Makenna Winans duplicated the feat on the next Patriot possession to spark a 12-0 run that pushed the lead to 23 at the end of the third period.
The Cadets committed 15 of their 20 turnovers in the middle two periods, which helped lead to their downfall.
“They have a very nice team and are very athletic and we just missed too many ones we should have had and turned the ball over too many times,” said Liedtke. “Some of our turnovers we created on our own and when you are playing a team that’s playing like they are you’ve got to control the ball.”
Hefner led the way for Parkersburg South with 19 points while Wilson added 15.
Davis was especially pleased with the contribution he got from Wilson, who is seeing her first extensive varsity action as a senior.
“She (Wilson) is such a great story. A couple of years ago she didn’t make the team but she went back and played in the spring and fall and really, really worked hard,” said Davis, whose team connected on 24-of-45 field goal attempts in the game. “It’s just so cool to see her have that kind of success because she deserves it.”
Fort Frye was led by Schneider and Morgan Borich with 11 points apiece while Kesselring added eight.
Both head coaches felt that playing such a tough opponent early in the season can do nothing but help their teams as the season progresses.
“Dan (Liedtke) does such a great job and it’s such a great game for us,” said Davis, whose team will head to Huntington on Thursday. “Fort Frye really makes you defend and makes you play really hard and anytime you can come in here and get a win it’s great. They are going to win a lot of games this year.”
Liedtke felt the game will prove a great learning experience for his young squad.
“Going against this level of competition will really mature us,” said Liedtke, whose Cadets slipped to 2-1 with the loss. “This is a young team and we are going to have our growing pains but as time goes on we are going to get better.”
Fort Frye travels to Monroe Central on Thursday.