Prep basketball: Fort Frye boys edge St.Clairsville in Classic, 44-43

Fort Frye needed one defensive stop in the final seconds – and got it.

With time on the verge of expiring, freshman Justin Anderson blocked St. Clairsville sophomore Patrick Buchanan’s jumpshot to seal the Cadets’ 44-43 triumph over the Red Devils in an Ohio River Classic boys’ basketball game at Marietta College’s Ban Johnson Arena Saturday night.

“We were in a man-to-man defense, and everybody was doing a good job,” said Fort Frye head coach Eric Henniger. “They (St. Clairsville) kind of scrambled for that last second shot, and Justin played good, straight-up, smart defense – and just made a great play on the ball.”

Prior to that, Anderson, a non-starter, had misfired on the front end of a one-and-one bonus situation. St. Clairsville got the rebound and called timeout..

“It was a big defensive play from a freshman, who’d missed a free throw right before that,” Henniger said. “He wanted to make up for it and he did.”

Fort, which improved its record to 6-1 overall, was paced by team MVP Seth Legrean’s 14 points. Carter Kiefer added 10.

Daniel Trouten and team MVP Dylan Panepucci had 11 points apiece to lead the Red Devils (4-2). Jared Derosa chipped in with eight markers.

St. C head coach Kim Clifford was denied career win No. 400 after getting No. 399 in a 46-36 win against Harrison Central Friday night.

Fort Frye also played Friday night at Woodsfield, and defeated Monroe Central 65-39 in a Pioneer Valley Conference tilt.

“Great weekend,” Henniger said. “We played two fast, strong teams. I think It really wore us down. I thought we looked slow (vs. St. Clairsville), but we played well against a good team.”

Actually, both Fort and St. C got off to a slow start in the opening quarter with the latter staking itself to an 11-10 advantage.

In the second period, the Cadets trailed until going on a 6-2 run on four points by Legrean and a deuce by Kiefer, making it 23-22 at halftime.

Fort Frye stretched its advantage to 25-22 early in the third on two Kiefer freebies. But St. Clairsville came back and tied the score on Trouten’s bucket and bonus free throw. The Red Devils then regained the lead 30-25 on a Panepucci triple, followed by his steal and layup.

After a Cadet timeout, Chandler Lang and Kiefer hit back-to-back jumpers to cut it to one. Then, Legrean made one foul shot to even the count, and Anderson the freshman drained a three to put Fort in the lead, 33-30.

Trouten’s trey tied the score at the start of the fourth quarter. Fort answered that with a 7-0 run on Anderson’s putback, and then five straight Legraen points to make it 40-33. Turned out that after Legraen’s triple at the 4:49 mark, the Cadets would never look back.

Still it took Anderson’s block at the end to help preserve the Cadet victory.

Fort Frye is scheduled to play at Buckeye Trail in a PVC game Jan. 3 at 6 p.m.