Fort Frye rallies past rival Frontier
NEW MATAMORAS — Nic Hart flirted with a triple-double Saturday night as the visiting Fort Frye Cadets pulled away late to down the Frontier Cougars 63-45.
Hart led his team with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Cadets clinched the Pioneer Valley Conference Championship and remained undefeated in conference play.
The Cadets had a tough time putting away the pesky Cougars as they led by just seven points late in the third quarter before pulling away to the 18-point win.
“I’m very proud of our guys and anytime you can get a PVC championship that’s an awesome experience,” said Fort Frye head coach Eric Henniger. “They have worked very hard for this and they deserve it.”
The Cadets came out of the gate smoldering as they pulled out to a 6-0 lead in the opening minute with the final field goal coming on a alley-oop pass from Hart to Zane Greenleaf.
After a time-out by head coach Roger Kirkpatrick, the Cougars were able to settle down as Corby Curtis knocked down a triple and junior Kyle Daugherty followed with an inside bucket to cut the lead to 6-5.
The Cadets slowly increased their lead to seven at the end of the first quarter and then to 10 in the second period after a lay-up by Devin Layton but Frontier trimmed the lead back to eight thanks to late first half field goals once again by Curtis and Daugherty.
Frontier quickly cut the lead to five to open the second half when Logan Brookover splashed in a triple from behind the top of the key but the Fort got buckets by Greenleaf and Kelton Fogle to push their lead back to nine.
Back-to-back field goals by Brady Schilling and Luke Nelson expanded the lead to 12 but the pesky Cougars continued to hang around as buckets by Brookover and Daugherty trimmed the lead back to seven (36-29) with three minutes to play in the third quarter.
” A couple of times we trimmed the lead down to seven or so and had the ball but we just couldn’t capitalize when we needed to,” said Kirkpatrick. “You can’t do that against good teams because they have got eight or nine kids who can shoot the ball and eight or nine kids that can put it on the ground.”
The Cadets out-pointed the Cougars 9-4 the rest of the third period to increase their lead to 12 and then extended it in the final quarter mostly at the charity stripe where they made 21-of-30 free throw attempts in the game.
Frontier cut the lead to 10 at one point in the fourth but could come no closer as they slipped to 8-10 overall and 2-5 in the PVC.
Joining Hart in double figures for the Cadets was Greenleaf with 13 points and Fogle with 11.
“It was a grind throughout the whole game and I thought Zane Greenleaf and Nic Hart stepped up and held our team together,” said Henniger, whose squad improved to 12-6 overall and 7-0 in the PVC. “The second half everything kind of came together but it was a hard-fought win do doubt.”
Frontier was led once again by Brookover with 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds while Daugherty added nine points and eight rebounds.
“That team (Fort Frye) has played one hell of a schedule,” said Kirkpatrick. “I thought our kids gave a great effort…. it may have ended an 18-point game but I thought it felt like a lot closer game than that.”
Both teams will now turn their attention to Ohio Valley Athletic Conference semi-final action next week as the Cadets host Barnesville while Frontier travels to Trinity Christian.