ANOTHER TITLE: Cadets claim sectional crown in blowout win over Huskies
BYESVILLE – Winning championships is becoming quite a habit for head coach Eric Henniger and his Fort Frye Cadets.
First the Cadets went 11-1 to claim the Pioneer Valley Conference Championship.
Next they scored a thrilling double overtime, 60-56 win over Steubenville Central Catholic to claim the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championship for the third time in four years.
Wednesday evening the red-hot Cadets added yet another net to their trophy case as they rolled to a 62-36 win over the Harrison Central Huskies to clinch a sectional championship and advance to the regionals next week in St. Clairsville.
“They (Harrison Central) are a very athletic, fast and strong team,” said Henniger. “We beat a very good team tonight. Even though the score turned out a little lopsided they are team much better than their record (13-11).”
Early on it was the Huskies who jumped in front as they led the Cadets 7-2 after junior Cory Yoho drilled a three-pointer.
The Cadets closed in on a triple by Carter Kiefer and then tied the game at 7-7 on a drive to the basket by Chandler Lang.
Kiefer and Seth Legraen both scored field goals but each time Yoho answered for Harrison Central to even things up at 11 apiece.
Lang had his usual solid game running the point for the Cadets as he dished out a game-high six assists including one to Legraen to send the Cadets back out in front and one to Devin Brooker who canned a three-ball just before the buzzer to give the Fort a 16-11 lead.
“Chandler did a little bit of everything for us again tonight,” said Henniger of his senior guard who scored 10 points to go along with six assists, six rebounds, and three steals. “We knew we had to have a good ball handler against a team like that and everyone did a good job.”
The Cadets methodically began to pull away in the second quarter as they led by eight with two minutes to play in the half before going on a 10-0 half ending run to take a 36-18 lead into intermission.
Justin Anderson’s triple made it a double digit lead before Kiefer connected once from long range and once from under the basket before Lang closed out the first 16 minutes with a pair of free throws to send the Cadets to the break with a big lead.
It wouldn’t take the Fort long in the second half to put things well out of reach as Legraen and senior guard Jordan Anderson both completed old fashioned three-point plays to stretch the lead to 42-18 with 6:22 to play in the third.
Harrison Central managed to trim the lead to 21 by the end of the third quarter but that was not near enough to have any chance at a final period comeback as both teams emptied its benches and the Cadets cruised to victory No. 21 of the season.
Kiefer led all scorers with 16 points for the Cadets while also pulling down five rebounds.
“He worked very hard on his game last summer and it really shows on the court,” said Henniger of his super sophomore who also played a strong game defensively. “He’s a big-game player and he came out tonight and really stepped it up.”
Kiefer was thrilled to help the Cadets escape the Meadowbrook sectionals after being eliminated there a season ago.
“It’s a really big win for us after losing here last year,” said Kiefer. “We practiced tough and they (Harrison Central) were very tough like we expected. We played good defense like we usually do and came out on top.”
Legraen joined Kiefer and Lang in double figures with 11, to go along with a game-high eight rebounds, while Jordan Anderson added nine.
Yoho and Brandon Mitchell each scored nine points to lead the way for the Huskies.
Next up for the Cadets will be a return to a venue that they are quite familiar with as they will travel to Ohio University Eastern in St. Clairsville, the site of their big OVAC championship win.
The 21-3 Cadets will take on the winner of Thursday night’s Garaway versus St. Clairsville game next Tuesday at 6 p.m.