Cadets march on: Fort Frye drills Frontier in key girls showdown

BEVERLY – Holding just a three point lead with 15 seconds to play in the first quarter, the Fort Frye Lady Cadets needed to step up their game.

Ten and a half minutes later the Frontier Lady Cougars finally hit another field goal, and that three point margin was on its way to 20 as the Lady Cadets knocked off visiting Frontier 53-29 in Beverly Thursday night.

“We took good shots and we got in a good rhythm,” said Fort Frye senior Brooke Borich, who led all scorers with 18 points while also collecting four assists. “Everybody was involved tonight, which was good. All of us were ready to shoot and take the open shot,” she continued.

Initially trailing in the game as Frontier hit the game’s first two field goals sandwiched around a pair of Fort Frye free throws, the Lady Cadets employed an aggressive, physical style of play that wore down the Lady Cougars.

“We started out in a defense to kind of wear them down,” Borich explained.

That defensive strategy proved successful as through three quarters of play Frontier had managed just 13 points.

At that point, Borich had nearly as many points by herself with 12.

“Right from the start, we played four quarters of hard basketball,” said Fort Frye girls’ basketball coach Dan Liedtke.

A physical, pounding post game kept the Lady Cadets rolling offensively despite some early struggles shooting the basketball, as Fort Frye played its first game in nearly a week since suffering a loss to Bishop Rosecrans.

“We’ve been sitting on a loss for a week. That’s tough to do,” Liedtke said.

Fort Frye’s frustration with the weather keeping them from playing ball proved to be the Lady Cougars’ misfortunes, as Frontier didn’t make a shot from the field in the second quarter while being outscored 11-2.

It wasn’t until Corisa Fickiesen’s basket off Lexi Brookover’s assist with 5:35 in the third quarter that Frontier would get a field goal after the end of the first quarter.

“Fort Frye does that to you,” said Frontier girls’ basketball coach Scott Murphy. “They play hard and they force you to play hard. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

After initially leading 4-2 early in the first quarter, the Lady Cougars struggled to find any offensive life in their half court sets, managing just a pair of free throws in the second quarter and only two field goals in the third.

On the flip side, the Lady Cadets tallied seven field goals between baskets by Frontier and transformed the game as Fort Frye took a 23-point advantage into the final period of play.

“All in all I’m happy with how we played,” Liedtke said. “The only thing I felt we didn’t do well at times is I think we did not make some good decisions with the ball.”

The one person not struggling with the ball was Borich, who ran the point effectively and helped the Lady Cadets generate assists on 11 of their 16 shots from the field.

Seven different girls scored for Fort Frye and five tallied at least six points, with Borich and Megan Liedtke each getting into double figures.

Megan Liedtke did most of her damage at the free throw line, where she was 8-for-9. The bulk of those charity tosses came after offensive rebounds as the Fort Frye forward collected as many rebounds by herself with 12 as Frontier had as a team.

And while the Lady Cougars earned 22 trips to the stripe themselves, they hit just nine of them while Fort Frye was 16-of-20.

“We talked about what we had to do, as far as attacking the basket, taking good shots,” Murphy said. “Those were the little things we didn’t do well.”

On the other end of the court, the Lady Cadets were doing all those very well as Fort Frye didn’t allow Frontier to hit consecutive field goals and never were the Lady Cougars able to tally more than three points in a row.

That mantra of tough defense and offensive efficiency proved to be the balm the Lady Cadets needed to soothe their wounds after last week’s loss and cancelled games due to weather.

“It was good to come back and play after that gap of not playing,” Borich said. “We played hard and we played physical. We were ready to come back after a loss and get a win.”