Fort Frye girls fall in 2OT

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Fort Frye prides itself in playing good fundamentally sound basketball every time it steps on the court.

Saturday proved to be the exception as the FF Lady Cadets coughed up 21 turnovers in a heartbreaking, 47-41, double overtime loss to the Linsly Lady Cadets in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 3-A championship game at Ohio University Eastern.

“I was just shocked by this group of girls and the amount of turnovers we made today,” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke, whose team was looking to make it three OVAC titles in a row. “We work every day on passing and taking care of the ball and are a very fundamental team but today you wouldn’t think that we worked on anything like that at all.”

Those turnovers would prove crucial, especially in a game that featured 16 lead changes and after Linsly recovered from an early 9-0 deficit to take an 11-10 lead in the second quarter. Neither team led by more than three points until Linsly pulled away in double overtime to secure the win.

Early on the Fort looked very strong as Brooke Borich scored five unanswered points and Makayla Liedtke grabbed a rebound and put it back in to give FF a 9-0 lead.

Linsly began to chip away at the lead by scoring the final six points of the first quarter and a Morgan Brunner field goal opened the second quarter to cut the lead to one.

Fort Frye’s Alexis Enochs converted one-of-two free throws to extend the lead back to two, but Brunner answered from long range to give Linsly its first lead of the game at 11-10.

The two Cadet teams traded the lead a few times before Makayla Liedtke’s three-ball on an assist from her sister Megan gave the red, blue and white a 16-14 advantage at the break.

Brunner opened the second half with a pair of buckets to put Linsly back in front by a pair and despite the fact that Fort Frye committed more turnovers (6) in the third period than they scored points (5), they managed to trail by just a point (22-21) heading to the final period of regualtion.

Vivian Allison opened the fourth quarter with a bucket to extend the Linsly lead to three, but the Fort got huge back-to-back triples by Borich and Megan Liedtke to retake the lead 27-24.

Allison scored five-of-the seven points that Linsly put on the board in the final quarter including three that tied the game at 27-27 and then assisted a Jazzie Orth inside score that gave Linsly the two-point lead with less than three minutes to play.

Fort Frye made good on seven-of-nine shots from the charity stripe including a crucial pair by Shawntell Parsons to tie the game once again at 29-29.

Both teams’ frustration level hit a new high in the closing minute as Orth missed a pair of free throw and an open layup while Parsons missed a bunny as well for Fort Frye to send the game to overtime.

The two exchanged free throws to open the overtime period as both Makayla Liedtke and J.J. Jackson converted a pair of freebies before the freshman Liedtke knocked down a three to give FF a 34-31 lead.

Unfortunately for Fort Frye that lead lasted about four seconds as Allison answered from behind the arc to once again tie the score at 34-34.

Megan Liedtke’s two free throws put Fort Frye back in front with 1:21 to go but Brunner matched that feat to tie things back up.

Makayla Liedtke’s long three-point attempt bounced in and out in the closing seconds sending the two to a second four minutes of extended play.

Orth and Megan Liedtke both scored off of offensive rebounds to open the second overtime and after Orth made good on a pair of freebies, Megan Liedtke drained her second three-ball of the game to put the Fort back in front 41-40 with 1:50 to play.

Brunner led all scorers with 20 points in the game but none was bigger than her triple on the next Linsly possession that put them back in front 43-41.

Linsly was solid at the free-throw line as well as it connected on 18-of-23 in the game and two freebies each by Brunner and Allison iced what would prove to be the very first OVAC championship for the Linsly girls team.

“We talked in the locker room before the game about basketball being a game of ups and downs and different runs,” said Linsly head coach Erica Hall.

“We’ve worked really hard and just committed to becoming great teammates and this was just an amazing game.”

Brunner finsihed with a double-double as in addition to her 20 points she collected a game-high 10 rebounds while also coming up with six steals, while Allison scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and overtime periods.

Borich led the Fort with 14 points while the Liedtke sisters combined for 22 points with Makayla scoring 12 and Megan 10.

Linsly (19-1) has now reeled off 19 straight victories while Fort Frye slipped to 15-4 with the loss.

“Right from the very beginning of the ball game we were turning the ball over and it just never stopped,” said Liedtke.

“We got a little better there in the fourth quarter and overtime but I thought that third quarter really killed us.”