Fort Frye hands a setback to Frontier, 59-46

Cadets’ Nelson provides lift off the bench

Fort Frye’s Tate Engle (12) defends Froniter’s Breckin Hoff dribbling during boys’ basketball action Tuesday night. Photo by Ron Johnston

NEW MATAMORAS — Luke Nelson provided Fort Frye with a boost off the pine.

The 5-foot-9 junior sharpshooter scored 13 points as the Cadets downed Frontier, 59-46, Tuesday night in Pioneer Valley Conference boys’ basketball action at Hank Morus Gymnasium.

“Luke’s probably the best shooter on our team,” said FFHS head coach Eric Henniger, whose Cadets improved their record to 4-2 overall. “And when the other team is playing zone, he’s probably going to see more minutes, because he can stretch that zone out a lot more. There’s a reason why he’s out there in these situations.”

Fort starter Tyler Bradford chipped in with 12 points, and Grason Schott and Tate Engle each netted seven.

Led by Nelson, the Fort bench produced 31 points and six of the team’s eight 3-pointers. Brady Schilling added eight markers, and Kelton Fogle had six on two triples.

“We had to play several different guys than we nornally do, because of the (Frontier) zone,” Henniger said.

Frontier (2-4) was paced by Brent West’s 13 points. Toby Minder added 10, while Logan Brookover and Shon Howell had seven apiece.

The Cougars outpointed the Cadets in the second half, 33- 29.

“The second half, we played better,” said FHS boss Roger Kirkpatrick.

Sparked by Engle’s four first-quarter points, Fort Frye staked itself to a 12-6 advantage. Frontier had eight turnovers in the opening eight minutes of play.

“We were getting the ball out and getting down the court,” Henniger said. “And we were getting some easy shots. But you know our defense really stepped up.”

In the second quarter, the Cadets slowly, but surely stretched their lead into double digits and at the break, they led 30-13. The southpaw-shooting Nelson had five points in the stanza to lead the way.

Frontier, meanwhile, had 10 more turnovers in the period.

“We came out flat in the first half,” Kirkpatrick said. “We missed way too many free-throws. And, we had 18 too many turnovers in the first half.

“They (Cadets) really didn’t shoot the ball better then, either, and we didn’t capitalize on it. We couldn’t score.”

West and Minder each had six points in the third quarter to help the Cougars reduce the deficit to 12, 38-26.

“In the second half, I thought we got a little bit more laid back,” Henniger said. “We got a little lackadaisical, just because we had a lead.”

Right at the end of the period, Schott’s putback and Fogle’s trey gave the Cadets a 16-point cushion going into the fourth quarter.

At the start of the fourth, Fogle knocked down another three. But Frontier answered that with a 7-0 run on two buckets by West and one by Minder plus a bonus freebie.

Nelson halted that Cougar run with a three, his first of two in the period.

Five straight points by Frontier’s Breckin Hoff cut it to 10, 51-41. But that’s as close as the Cougars would get.

Down the stretch, Engle made three-of-four from the line to keep the Cougars at bay.

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