LaFollette’s 29 leads ’Noles past Cougars

Frontier's Brent West (50) drives on Monroe Central's Ryan LaFollette (5) during PVC boys' basketball action at Hank Morus Gymnasium Saturday night. The Cougars dropped a 64-34 decision to the Noles. Photo by Ron Johnston.

NEW MATAMORAS — Frontier High had a lot of trouble guarding Monroe Central High’s Ryan LaFollette, especially in the second half.

The MCHS senior scored 22 of his game-high 29 points after the break to lead the Seminoles to a 64-34 triumph over the Cougars in a Pioneer Valley Conference boys’ basketball game at Hank Morus Gymnasium Saturday night.

“He (LaFollette) hurt us, but we should’ve buried him before that,” said FHS head coach Roger Kirkpatrick. “The third quarter killed us. You can’t let him score 20 points.”

LaFollette actually scored 15 in the third and seven in the fourth after tallying only seven the entire first half.

“Ryan’s a great athlete,” said Monroe Central boss Jon Perkins. “He’s a very smart kid, and I know football is his main love. But he’s a pretty good basketball player. He brings a lot to the table as far as hustle, ball pressure, and really everything he does.”

LaFollette also scored 29 points in the Seminoles’ Friday night loss to Shadyside at Woodsfield. According to Perkins, LaFollette’s career-high was 30-plus last season.

Zac Jones added 10 points, and Talin Babcock netted eight for the Noles, who improved their record to 3-4 overall.

Brent West paced Frontier (0-2) in its home opener with 13 points. On Friday night, the Cougars lost a 64-60 overtime decision in their season lid-lifter at Caldwell High in Noble County.

“We just came out flat tonight,” Kirkpatrick said. “We went six minutes without scoring (in the second quarter).”

In the first quarter, though, FHS was in control, leading 10-7. Shon Howell had two buckets, and Logan Brookover and West each had one for the home team.

“We had the lead but didn’t build on it,” Kirkpatrick said. “We didn’t do a very good job.”

Early in the second period, the Seminoles tied the score at 10-all on Owen Hartshorn’s triple. The Cougars regained the edge on a West bucket. But at the 3:16 mark, Babcock’s basket and bonus free-throw knotted the score again, 14-14.

Monroe Central closed out the first half with an 11-0 run, highlighted by Logan Pletcher’s buzzer-beating halfcourt shot.

“That really changed the tone of the game,” Perkins said.

The Noles led 22-14 at the intermission.

In the third, LaFollette was on fire, and the Cougars couldn’t stop him as the Seminoles stretched their advantage to 43-24 going into the final stanza.

FHS suffered another setback when Howell, a 6-foot-5 senior starter, fouled out at the 4:35 mark of the third quarter.

“We came out and played pretty well the first few minutes of the third quarter, and I thought that boded well for us the rest of the half,” Perkins said. “Hopefully, this is a confidence builder for the kids.”