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Fort Frye girls push tempo, beat Steubenville

Photo by Joe Albright Fort Frye’s Lexie Huck, center, attacks the basket during a high school girls basketball game against Steubenville Saturday in Beverly. Fort Frye won, 72-33.

BEVERLY — Steubenville had the size, but Fort Frye had the speed going into the matchup between the two schools Saturday in Beverly.

Only one question remained before the start of the game – who would take advantage of their mismatch?

Mackenzie Dalton, Hannah Archer and their Cadet teammates answered that question repeatedly — all afternoon — on the way to a 72-33 win over the Big Red. Whenever any Cadet touched the ball on the defensive end it was a mostly successful repeat of everyone getting down the floor as fast as they could and all running lanes to get open play after play. When it was all said and done, the home team had forced 25 turnovers and put up a huge number on the stat sheet when it came to scoring in transition.

It sure put a smile on head coach Dan Liedtke’s face.

“I was very pleased with all of them including the JV team. I thought everyone played well,” he said.

Leading the way in the overall solid performance were Dalton, who stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, six assists, four steals and three rebounds, and Archer, who tallied a game-high 25 points along with nine rebounds.

“They definitely hit a lot of good shots today,” Liedtke said.

The Big Red were led in scoring by Kylie Maxwell’s 12 points.

But, that was about as bright as it got for the visitors. Otherwise, they were being hounded from all sides for all 32 minutes.

By the time the first quarter ended, the Cadets had a 20-9 lead and had forced nine turnovers, including four straight on their visitor’s first four possessions.

From the opening tip, Fort Frye’s plan was effective. Swarming defense and constant tempo wore down the Big Red as Archer and Dalton each had big efforts with nine and six points, respectively. Dalton got the scoring started while Archer began her afternoon with a pair of free throws not even a minute into the contest. Their visitors wouldn’t get within 11 points again.

Cutting down on the turnovers didn’t do much to lessen the damage in the second quarter. Outside of a brief dry spell at the beginning of the period, the Cadets still managed to push their advantage to a 38-20 halftime lead.

The lead then hit 21 on Archer’s bucket off a Karlee Ross assist shortly into the third period. When Dalton found Liv Schneider briefly before the starters left the floor the advantage grew to 31 late in the fourth quarter.

Overall, it was a satisfying way for the Cadets to go into an off week before a date with rival Waterford at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“I thought right from the start we kept the energy going. We had a little spell there where we were missing some shots, and we had to gather ourselves into running the offense more. Once we got that rhythm going it was pretty good,” Liedtke said.

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