Prep girls basketball: Fort girls top Waterford in 2OT

WATERFORD – Brooke Borich scored 16 of her game high 21 points in extended play as Fort Frye outlasted host Waterford 53-45 in a double overtime thriller Saturday night.

Borich drained a big three-pointer with 15 seconds left to play in the first overtime to tie the game and then made good on six consecutive free throws down the stretch to help the Lady Cadets survive the battle with their crosstown rivals.

“That three by Brooke in the first overtime was huge.” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “We wanted her in that position because of her experience and because we know she has the confidence and she really came up big tonight.”

The first three quarters of the game featured defensive basketball at its very best as the Fort held a 27-22 lead.

Megan Liedtke made five-of-six free throws early in the fourth to extend the Cadet lead to eight, the biggest lead either team had in the game at 32-24, with just five minutes to play.

The Lady Wildcats began to chip away at the Fort Frye lead when Regan Porter converted a pair of freebies and sophomore Dani Drayer drilled a trey from long range to cut the lead to 32-29.

Drayer came up with a steal on the next Cadet possession resulting in a free throw by Taylor Hilverding, but Megan Liedtke answered with a pair at the other end to push the lead back to 34-30.

Waterford senior Randee Seevers knocked down a big triple on an inbound feed from Drayer to pull the Cats to within a single point with 1:12 to play.

The Cadets connected on 16-of-24 free throw attempts in the game but Michelle Adkins missed three-out-of-four in the final minute to leave Waterford trailing by a pair with 25 seconds to play.

Drayer’s attempt at a game winning three was no good but Hilverding came up with a huge rebound to allow Waterford to reset their offense.

After a Wildcat timeout, once again Drayer got off a shot and this time Porter grabbed the miss and laid it back in to tie the game at 35-35 with just nine ticks left on the clock.

“Our girls played very hard and I can’t be more pleased with their effort,” said Waterford head coach Jerry Close. “Rebounding and defensively we did what we needed to do.”

That Wildcat defense would hold as Shawntell Parsons shot at the buzzer for the Fort was no good to send the game to overtime.

Porter picked up right where she left off when she grabbed another offensive rebound and scored to give Waterford their first lead since the early minutes of the second quarter.

After Borich and Seevers traded threes, Borich tied the game with a strong drive and finish.

Waterford turned the ball over on its next possession but Seevers came up with a huge steal on the inbound pass and made one-of-two free throw attempts to give Waterford a 41-40 lead.

The Wildcats would struggle mightily at the charity stripe for much of the game but Drayer calmly stepped to the line and drained a pair with less than 30 seconds to play to make it a three-point Waterford lead.

Fort Frye worked the ball around on its possession before Borich shook herself free and knocked down the 20-footer to send the game to a second overtime.

“Brooke Borich just took over in overtime,” Close said. “We held her to just five points in regulation, but she did what she does and that’s hit big shots.”

Sophomore Alexis Enochs opened the second overtime with a drive to the basket and Borich followed suit on the next Cadet possession to give the Cadets a 47-43 lead.

After a Seevers’ bucket cut the lead back to two, Borich canned her last six free throws and the Cadets pulled away for their eighth victory in a row.

Waterford hit just eight-of-18 shots from the stripe in the game including misses on its final four attempts in the game.

“You do everything right and play your hearts out and miss your free throws and it’s all for naught,’ said Close. “I can’t ask them to play any harder. It’s just a shame to play that well and get beat.”

Borich’s 21 points led all scorers, while Megan Liedtke finished with yet another double-double as she chipped in with 11 points and a game-high 13 boards.

Seevers led the way for Waterford with 17 markers while Drayer finished with 13.

“It showed me a lot that our girls were able to step up when their backs were against the wall,” Dan Liedtke said. “These are the kinds of games that really mature a team and I’m pleased to get the win.”

The veteran Fort Frye head coach had high praise for his opponent as well.

“It was just an all out battle between two really good teams and that’s what makes this game so fun,” said Liedtke. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Waterford and the effort they gave tonight.”

Fort Frye, which improved to 8-1 with the win, will host River on January 6, while the Lady Cats (7-2) return to action January 9 at Eastern.

Fans of both teams will no doubt look forward to the rematch between the two scheduled for January 11 in Beverly.