Prep girls basketball: Fort Frye girls drill Waterford, 54-26

WATERFORD – At its core, the game of basketball is really pretty simple: Put the ball in the hoop more than the other team.

But sometimes, getting that ball in the hoop can be a real challenge.

Just ask the Waterford Lady Wildcats.

A dominating defense by the Fort Frye Lady Cadets combined with a woeful shooting effort by the Lady Wildcats resulted in a commanding 54-26 win for Fort Frye at Waterford Elementary Saturday evening.

Facing the Lady Cadets athletic, aggressive defense, Waterford connected on just 19 percent of its field goals and never hit more than four field goals in a quarter. And Fort Frye certainly didn’t have that problem, connecting on 47 percent of its shots.

“I feel good about both ends of the floor (Saturday) night. I really felt we kept our intensity where it needs to be for four quarters,” said Fort Frye girls’ basketball coach Dan Liedtke.

Despite how it would perform for the game, Waterford actually opened Saturday’s contest fairly strong as the Lady Wildcats tallied the game’s first four points to lead 4-0 on Chelsey Paxton’s putback basket with 5:22 in the first quarter.

The problem for the Lady Wildcats was they’d hit just one more field goal the rest of the first half, and Fort Frye had no intentions of keeping pace.

“We just picked a bad day to play bad,” said Waterford girls’ basketball coach Jerry Close.

After falling behind 4-0, the Lady Cadets got their offense rolling as Brooke Borich hit a pair of free throws and Shawntell Parsons drilled a three off an assist from Morgan Liedtke to put Fort Frye ahead to stay with 4:20 in the opening quarter.

Following Parsons’ trifecta, Fort Frye would rattle off 12 of the next 16 points to close out the first half leading 17-8, as the Lady Cadets couldn’t get their offense clicking either, going just 6-for-20 from the field in the opening stanza.

“The first half wasn’t bothering me. We were doing things really well. We were just missing shots,” Liedtke said.

The missed shots came to a screeching halt once the second half started.

Shooting just 30 percent from the floor in the first half, the Lady Cadets would hit 15-of-25 field goals in the second half to transform the game.

“We were really in sync,” Liedtke said.

And while the Lady Cadets were running like a well-oiled machine, the Lady Wildcats couldn’t keep pace despite decent defense.

“First half I thought our defense was pretty good,” Close said. “Second half, we came out and got five steals in the third quarter and couldn’t convert any of them.”

Missed opportunities offensively for Waterford were all Fort Frye would need, as the Lady Cadets tallied 14 of the first 16 points of the third quarter to lead 31-10 with 3:08 to play in the stanza on Micayla Hupp’s basket in the paint.

Waterford would somewhat stymie the tide, scoring six of the final 10 points to close out the quarter, but the lead would never dip below 20 points again after Buchanan’s bucket to open the fourth, reaching its largest point at 29 on a basket by Deidra Combs, who led all scorers with 15 points.

Fort Frye had Combs and Buchanan both reach double figures as seven different girls scored, while Waterford didn’t have any girl record double digits. Dani Drayer led Waterford with nine as the Lady Wildcat starters scored just six more points than their bench.

“We hurt ourselves offensively from standing around,” Close said.

While Waterford was hurting itself, the Lady Cadets were happy to take advantage, holding statistical advantages over the Lady Wildcats in every category as they picked up their 13th win of the campaign in a complete ball game.

“That’s where we’ve got to be right now,” Liedtke said.