Runaway 4th: Fort girls down Adena 66-47 with big finish

LOGAN – A 26-9 fourth quarter helped the Fort Frye High girls’ basketball team run away from Adena for a 66-47 regional semifinal victory at Logan High School Wednesday.

The Lady Cadets shot 23-for-43 (53 percent) from the floor and had six players with at least six points in an impressive offensive showing.

“I told our girls that that’s what we have over (Adena),” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “They have two main players but we have all weapons on the floor the whole time. Anytime any one of our players are on the floor, they are weapons.”

Junior Brooke Borich and senior Morgan Liedtke each led the squad with 14 points. Senior Deidra Combs poured in 13 while junior Shawntell Parsons added 11 off the bench.

“There were just different people stepping up at different times,” Dan Liedtke said. “That’s what makes this team such a hard team to defend.”

Adena, which shot 38 percent (18-for-47) in the contest, was led by Jenna Grigsby’s 18 points. Natalie Cooper was the only other Lady Warrior in double digits with 12.

A 3-pointer by Adena’s Michelle Ackley gave the Warriors a 41-40 lead early in the fourth period. The lead was short-lived, however, as Fort Frye would score 21 of the next 23 points to take a 61-43 lead with just over a minute left, putting the game way out of reach.

“It really looked to me like they were starting to get behind on their defense,” Dan Liedtke said of the Warriors. “So we really brought it out and spread it out so we could have some nice takes to the basket and some one-on-one stuff. I think they were getting a little bit behind trying to keep up with us and I think that’s when everything started rolling for us.”

Parsons started the run with a layup followed by two free throws from Borich. After a putback basket by Adena’s Alyssa Kennedy, a Parsons triple and a layup-and-one from Combs made the score 50-43. After a layup by senior Taylor Buchanan forced an Adena timeout, Parsons put in a layup and Borich knocked down a trey to make it a 14-point game. Combs hit a layup followed by a pair of foul shots from Liedtke to seal the deal.

The game was tightly contested on the boards and in the turnover department, with the Cadets holding a 26-23 rebounding edge while coughing it up 11 times to Adena’s 12.

Fort Frye held what seemed to be a comfortable 31-23 lead at halftime, but the Lady Warriors fought back to make it competitive, forcing seven Cadet turnovers in the period. After Adena’s Bethany Delong traded baskets with Buchanan, the Warriors went on a 7-0 run to cut it to 33-32. After a layup from Combs, Cooper hit consecutive jumpers to give Adena a 36-35 lead.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” Dan Liedtke said. “Those were turnovers that weren’t because of their defense. We just threw it away, and those are the kinds of things we have to make sure, on that, to take care of the ball.”

Liedtke then scored five straight points to put the Fort back on top by four, but a layup from Cooper made it 40-38 going into the final stanza.

From there, Fort Frye asserted its dominance.

“We gathered ourselves, went ahead, stayed right with it and stayed strong,” Dan Liedtke said. “We didn’t hang our heads at all and we started getting the lead back up.”

Five points by Grigsby helped the Lady Warriors jump out to a 10-5 lead early in the first quarter.

Micayla Hupp responded with a basket for Fort Frye followed by a 3-pointer from Morgan Liedtke on an assist from Combs to tie things up.

After Grigsby scored a layup to give Adena the lead back, Combs hit a jumper to tie it back up at 12-12 after one quarter.

The Lady Cadets scored eight of the first 10 points in the second period to take a 20-14 advantage. Hupp opened the stanza with a pair of free throws before Taylor Buchanan nailed a jumper. Following a layup by Cooper, Parsons hit a left-handed layup and then Combs hit a pair of freebies. Grigsby cut it to 20-16 with a basket, but Fort Frye would stretch its lead to eight by the end of the half, thanks to a 3-ball by Borich and buckets from Combs, Parsons and Hupp.

Adena ends its season at 22-3.

The Lady Cadets improved to 24-3 overall on the season with the win, and will play Johnstown Monroe, a 53-47 Wednesday winner over Fairland, Saturday in the regional final at Logan.

With the Lady Cadets one win away from the Division III state tournament, Dan Liedtke is hoping his players stay focused.

“If you get wrapped up too much about the state thing, then I think that takes away from your focus and what got you here to begin with,” the coach said.

“We’re gonna work the next two days to try and get prepared. Right now it’s really all about doing the best thing that you do. What we’re good at, that’s what we’ve got to do. We can’t worry too much about the other team and what they do. We’ve got to play our game.”