600 victories: Fort Frye coach reaches milestone as Cadets top River

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Fort Frye girls basketball head coach Dan Liedtke shakes hands with River players following Fort Frye’s win Thursday in Beverly. The victory was the 600th of Liedtke’s coaching career.

BEVERLY — Head coach Dan Liedtke got an early Christmas present with Fort Frye High’s 40-33 triumph over visiting Hannibal River High in a girls’ basketball game Thursday night.

The victory was a career milestone 600 (both boys and girls) for the longtime Cadet boss.

“It never entered my mind,” said Liedtke, smiling. “I know a lot of people would probably think different of that. But you know, this was a big game for us.

“We’ve come a long way with our youth with this team from game one, and I knew they had the capability of being able to get this win tonight. I’m really proud of them, and that’s what my mind was on. We can do all the celebrating afterwards as far as that goes.”

Morgan Borich paced the Cadets (7-1) with 18 points, seven rebounds, and three steals.

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Fort Frye’s Morgan Borich, left, handles the ball against the defense of River’s Lauren Flannery during a high school girls basketball game Thursday in Beverly.

“I think we were more excited, honestly,” the 5-foot-10 junior said, “because Coach (Liedtke) didn’t really say anything about it being his 600th win.

“We all knew, and we just wanted to give it to him, because this is a big win for us. We haven’t played River forever.”

FFHS senior co-captain Kelsey Adkins added seven points, while co-cap MacKenzie White grabbed seven rebounds and had two assists.

River (4-3) was paced by Lauren Flannery, who tallied a game-high 20 points, including four triples. Alli Long added nine markers. Only four Pilot cagers ended up scoring.

Both schools were deliberate on offense after the opening tip-off. Flannery knocked down a three for the first points of the contest at the 4:36 mark. That was followed by a White bucket and two Borich layups, which gave the Cadets a 6-3 advantage at the end of one.

Sparked by Borich’s two baskets and Karlee Ross’s three points in the second quarter, Fort led 13-9 at the half.

In the third quarter, FFHS maintained the advantage, thanks to two Adkins threes. Flannery kept the Pilots close with seven points, including a triple late in the period, which tied the score at 21-all. But near the end of the stanza, the Cadets regained the lead on Adkins’ trifecta.

Early in the fourth quarter, River surged in front, 25-24, on five straight Long points. But at the 4:45 mark, Fort got the lead back, 27-25, on Borich’s three.

After a Pilot timeout, the Cadets stretched their advantage with a 7-0 run, making it 34-25. During the surge, Liv Schneider hit a three, Kiersten Kesselring made a putback, and Borich converted two freebies.

With about a minute remaining, Flannery’s trey reduced the deficit to six. But Borich made a pair at the line to push it back to eight (36-28).

Flannery then hit another three, but Fort was lethal at the line at crunchtime, and was able to keep the Pilots at bay.

“I felt we needed a good win on this floor right before we go to Christmas,” Liedtke said.

Fort Frye is scheduled to host Union Local at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.