Cadets on fire: Hot-shooting Fort girls face Ridgewood tonight

Having won its first two sectional tournament games by a combined score of 145-45, it would be pretty easy for the Fort Frye girls’ basketball team to start looking ahead on the schedule.

The experienced Lady Cadets know better than that, however, as they have been taking the tournament one game at a time.

“The girls have been really focused,” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “Tournament time is a special time. You have to show up every night.”

Now Fort Frye (21-3) has its sights set on Ridgewood, who it will square off against tonight at Steubenville High School in a district semifinal matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

While Fort Frye breezed through the sectional tournament, the Lady Generals had a nice run as well, defeating Claymont by 18 and Tuscarawas Valley by 17, respectively.

Liedtke noted that Ridgewood (12-11) will present a tough challenge.

“They’re a pretty big team,” he said. “They start off with two 6-foot-1 players. Being a bigger team, they like to get the ball down inside.”

One of those bigger players is senior Kelsey Miller. Miller, who will be a main focal point for the Cadet defense, scored 15 points in the win over Tuscarawas Valley. Sophomore Amanda Lowery had a game-high 16 points for the Generals and gives the Doug Patterson-coached team a nice one-two punch.

“We’re gonna have to play really good defense,” Liedtke said. “We’ll have to box out really well because of their size. They get a lot of putback points.”

The Lady Cadets have a pretty good one-two punch of their own in seniors Deidra Combs and Taylor Buchanan. Buchanan leads the team in scoring with 12 points per game with Combs closely behind at 11 points per game. Fellow senior Morgan Liedtke has also provided a lot of offense throughout the season. The sharpshooting Liedtke is averaging 10 points per game and can put of game out of reach quickly when she is hitting from outside.

At 5-foot-11, expect senior Micayla Hupp to play a crucial role on the defensive end of the floor. Hupp, who is averaging six points per game, will likely match up with either Miller or Lowery.

Junior Brooke Borich, the team’s fifth starter, has held down the point guard position for the Lady Cadets this season. Averaging eight points per game, Borich can knock down shots from anywhere on the court.

“Offensively, we’ll have to use our speed and our quickness to our advantage,” Dan Liedtke said.

Should Fort Frye come out on top against the Generals, it would advance to the district final on Saturday, again at Steubenville, against either West Muskingum or Indian Valley in a 7 p.m. tip-off.