CAMBRIDGE - When your shooting percentage from behind the three-point arc in girls basketball is better than your percentage from inside the arc, your opponent may have a serious problem.
The team with the serious problem Thursday night was the Martins Ferry Lady Purple Riders as the Fort Frye Lady Cadets connected on 10-of-17 shots from three-point range en route to a dominating 70-23 victory at Cambridge High School to clinch yet another sectional championship.
The Lady Cadets fell behind 3-2 in the opening minutes of the game before going on a 16-0 run and then never looked back as they clinched their fourth consecutive sectional championship.
KIM NORTH Special to The Times
Fort Frye’s Deidra Combs, center, looks to make a play during sectional final action against Martins Ferry at Cambridge Thursday night.
"We have kind of learned from experience that it is important to come out strong from the start," said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke, whose girls have now claimed sectional titles in all four years of his coaching tenure. "We have been in some very close games in the sectionals so I told our girls now is the time we have to play our best."
The Cadets were at their best all night long as they hit on 14-of-25 first half shot attempts, including 6-of-9 from three-point range to take a comfortable 39-9 lead into intermission.
With 3:10 to play in the second quarter, Cadet senior Deidra Combs scored her first points of the game and point number 1,000 of her fine Fort Frye career.
FORT FRYE 70 MARTINS FERRY 23
(Sectional Championship Game at Cambridge High School):
Fort Frye 18 21 18 13 - 70
Martins Ferry 3 6 10 4 - 23
FORT FRYE (21-3)
Natalie Hart 1-3 1-2 3, Lexi Skinner 1-1 0-0 3, Shawntell Parsons 3-4 1-1 9, Brooke Borich 4-8 2-2 12, Micayla Hupp 4-6 0-0 8, Morgan Liedtke 5-6 2-2 17, Taylor Buchanan 4-13 0-0 8, Deidra Combs 4-5 0-0 8, Megan Liedtke 1-4 0-0 2, Totals: 27-50 6-7 70.
MARTINS FERRY (15-9)
Kylie Stadler 1-2 0-0 3, Morgan Stadler 0-1 0-0 0, Addie Suriano 0-6 0-0 0, Megan Rose 0-7 0-0 0, Shaye Deleonardis 0-1 0-0 0, Jessica Kinney 5-13 0-0 11, Shaina Oberdick 1-2 0-1 2, Ashlei Ray 0-0 0-0 0, Dionna Lee 1-2 0-0 3, Tyrah King 2-3 0-0 4, Totals:10-37 0-1 23.
Fort Frye: Shooting 27-50 (54 percent), Three-Point Shooting: 10-17 (58.9 percent) (Morgan Liedtke 5, Borich 2, Parsons 2, Skinner 1). Rebounds: 28 (Combs 6, Borich 5, Hupp 5), Assists: 19 (Borich 4, Buchanan 4), Turnovers: 12, Steals: 19 (Parsons 5), Team Fouls: 3.
Martins Ferry: Shooting: 10-37 (27 percent), Three-Point Shooting: 3-13 (23 percent), (K. Stalder 1, Kinney 1, Lee 1), Rebounds: 16 (Kinney 5, Rose 4), Assists: 8 (Rose 4), Turnovers: 25, Steals: 3, Team Fouls: 5.
Next Game: Fort Frye: February 28, Steubenville High School vs winner of West Lafayette Ridgewood vs. Tuscarawas Valley.
"It really wasn't one of my goals," said Combs, who was presented the game ball by Coach Liedtke after the game. "All of my goals involve the team, but it is a nice achievement and I am very happy about it."
The Cadets were clicking on offense all night long as they recorded assists on 19 of their 27 made field goals in the game.
Six different Lady Cadets scored at least eight points and all nine girls that got into the game scored at least a field goal. "This team is very fundamentally sound," said Liedtke of his squad that also out rebounded the Lady Riders by a 28-16 margin. "We have a lot of girls that can score so we have to take whatever they are going to give us and whoever is open is going to take the shot."
Liedtke's oldest daughter Morgan led the Cadets in scoring with 17 points, including 5-of-6 from three-point range.
"I could tell when she was warming up that she looked like she was shooting confident," said Dan Liedtke. "She's been pretty consistent for us all year long."
Joining Liedtke in double figures was Brooke Borich with 12.
Shawntell Parsons added nine points and Micayla Hupp, Combs, and Taylor Buchanan all finished with eight.
Martins Ferry, whose season comes to a close with a 15-9 record, was led in scoring by Jessica Kinney with 11.
Next up for the 21-3 and 11th ranked Lady Cadets is a trip to Steubenville next Thursday to take on the winner of the West Lafayette Ridgewood versus Tuscarawas Valley game with a 6 p.m tip-off.