Fort Frye boys fall to top-ranked Berlin Hiland

BEVERLY — It’s hard enough to spot any team a 13-point first quarter lead….let alone the number one-ranked team in the state.

Saturday night the Fort Frye Cadets fell behind 15-2 at the end of the first quarter to Berlin Hiland, the number one-ranked team in Division IV, and never recovered as the visiting Hawks rolled to a 60-41 win.

The combination of some great Hiland defense and some red-hot perimeter shooting off the bench by sophomore William Schlabach put the Cadets in an early hole that they were never able to dig themselves out of.

Schlabach knocked down three triples in the opening period alone as Hiland jumped out to the big lead.

“He can shoot it a little bit. He is not strong enough yet but that is the one aspect of the game that he can use at the varsity level,” said Schlabach’s father and Hiland head coach Mark Schlabach. “Our guys did a great job of finding him after he hit the first one.”

The Cadets lone bucket of the opening quarter came from junior Caden Fryman after the Hawks had scored the first ten points of the contest.

“I thought we came out a little slow which we don’t usually do. We actually caused a couple of turnovers right off the bat but couldn’t convert and that kind of set the tone,” said Fort Frye head coach Eric Henniger. “They (Hiland) are solid up and down the line them and once they get a lead like that they are not going to give it up.”

Fort Frye got the first basket of the second quarter on a Brady Schilling field goal but Hiland scored the next 11 points to open up a 26-4 lead.

Eight different Hawk players scored at least two points as Hiland went on to take a 31-9 lead at the break.

The Cadets came out much stronger in the second half and whittled the lead down to 15 at one point but that would be as close as they could get to the Hawks who improved to 16-1 on the season with their 10th consecutive win.

Fort Frye could take a little solace in the fact that they out-pointed the number one team in the state by a 32-29 margin in the second half after their first half struggle.

“Hiland you know is going to be trying for the entire game because they have to,” said Henniger, whose team slipped to 9-6 on the season with the loss. “For us to outscore them in the second half was definitely a positive for us but you can’t be down 20 and think you are going to beat a great team like that.”

Berlin Hiland was led in scoring and rebounding by junior Samuel Habeger who made all seven of his field goal attempts en route to a 15-point, seven-rebound performance.

Kyle Miller and Schlabach scored 13 and 11 points respectively with each knocking down three triples.

The Hawks shot a blistering 63 percent (23-36) in the game and out-rebounded the Fort by a healthy 26-14 margin.

The Cadets were led in scoring by Nic Hart and Kelton Fogle with 10 points while Schilling and Fryman added eight points apiece.

Fort Frye will remain home Tuesday night to host Caldwell.