Frontier holds on to beat Monroe Central again

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Frontier’s Logan Brookover (25) goes up for a basket during a high school boys basketball game against Monroe Central Tuesday in New Matamoras.

NEW MATAMORAS — Frontier High outlasted Monroe Central — again.

In another evenly-matched game, the Cougars hung on to defeat the Seminoles, 48-44, in Pioneer Valley Conference boys’ basketball action at Hank Morus Gymnasium Tuesday night.

Last month, at Woodsfield, FHS downed MC, 46-40.

“You know what, they’re a lot better this time than the first time we played them,” said Frontier head coach Roger Kirkpatrick. “Because last Friday, they beat Shadyside at Shadyside — and Shadyside’s pretty good.

“I told the kids to come out and keep the score in the 40s or 50s, and we did. Defensively, we were better tonight.”

The Cougars (7-3), winners of five of their last six games, were paced by Kyle Daugherty’s 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Corby Curtis added 14 points, including four triples, while Logan Brookover had 12 markers.

Freshman Tanner Bills converted two clutch insurance freebies with 13 seconds left in the contest.

“We’re young but I thought we kept our composure,” Kirkpatrick said.

“We worked and worked, and beat a pretty good team.”

Monroe Central (4-7) was led by Malachi Rose-Burton’s 12 points. Luke Burkhart chipped in with 11, and Zac Jones netted nine.

“We’re looking at every day as a learning process, especially attacking a zone defense,” said MC boss Jon Perkins. “We have one senior in Zac (Jones) who contributes and plays hard. But for the most part, it’s young guys trying to find their shot on the perimeter. And a lot of times, we don’t really have that confidence yet to step up and hit a big shot. At times, we did tonight, though.”

The contest featured 15 lead changes and six ties. Frontier’s biggest advantage was seven points, while Monroe Central’s was three.

Sparked by Brookover’s six and Curtis’s five first-quarter points, the Cougars staked themselves to a 14-11 lead. Keeping the Noles close was southpaw-shooting Rose-Burton with eight points.

Late in the second quarter, Burkhart’s second triple of the period gave MC a 27-24 advantage. But just before the half, Brooker’s deuce cut it to one.

Daugherty had the hot hand in the third quarter, scoring seven points, as Frontier took a 38-33 lead going into the final eight minutes of play.

Monroe Central stayed close, though, in the final period, and knotted the score at 44-all on a Burkhart bucket. The Cougars regained the advantage, though, on Daugherty’s lay-in near the one-minute mark.

Then, Bills iced the game with two foul shots in the closing seconds.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Kirkpatrick said. “We made the key free-throws.”