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Cadets’ team effort leads to 70-16 win on senior night

BEVERLY — It’s very rare to celebrate Senior night on just the third home game of the basketball season.

Wanting to make sure their exceptional senior class was honored regardless of what may lay ahead in the 2020-2021 basketball season, Fort Frye recognized its three seniors Thursday night before they hosted Caldwell and then went on to score a convincing 70-15 victory.

Cadets seniors Lexie Huck, Olivia Schneider and Karlee Ross accounted for 43 of those points as Fort Frye improved to 4-0 on the season.

“It’s odd to do senior night on your fourth game but it’s a good idea under the circumstances to make sure we get to honor our seniors,” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “I’m just glad that we have them for the rest of the season.”

Caldwell managed to hang with the Fort through much of the first quarter but once the Cadets offense got rolling they quickly pulled ahead to stay.

The Cadet defense allowed eight points in the opening quarter and then cut that number in half for each respective quarter the rest of the way.

Fort Frye forced the ‘Skins into 35 turnovers in the game and out-pointed them by a 41-3 margin in the second half.

“We take a lot of pride in our defense and make sure that is our solid base,” said Liedtke. “We run our offense and try to get good shots and if our shooting is on that’s great but if you are not hitting very well at least you’ve got that defense to rely on until you get things going.”

While the game was no doubt a special one for the trio of Cadet seniors including Huck, who led Fort Frye with 21 points, junior Mackenzie Dalton had an outstanding game as well as she poured in 14 points while leading her team in rebounds with six, assists with six and steals with six.

“She’s all over the floor and and that’s just the way that Kenzie plays,” said Liedtke of his five-foot-three inch junior point guard. “She makes alot of things happen for us by hustling or driving to the basket and dishing it off and she handles all of that very well.”

Fort Frye jumped out to an early 11-2 lead before Caldwell got consecutive scores from Cayton Secrest, Jules Hood and Allison Egnot to pull to within three.

The Cadets got a 3-pointer from Ross to close out the opening quarter and then out-pointed the Redskins 15-4 in the second quarter to open up a 29-12 halftime lead.

Fort Frye opened the second half by scoring the first 14 points and closed it out by scoring the final 27 as they sent Caldwell (3-1) down to its first loss of the young season.

Joining Huck and Dalton in double figures for the home team was Ross with 15 and junior Hannah Archer with 13, all coming in the second half.

Liedtke paid tribute to the seniors who were robbed of a chance to play for a state championship last season after reaching the Final Four in a emotional speech during the pre-game festivities praising the unselfishness and work ethic of the three.

“This is a very unselfish group that is team first,” said Liedtke. “They work as hard as any group I have ever had and they understand it. Their parents are coaches and they get it.”

The Cadets committed just five turnovers in the game while four different Fort Frye girls tallied at least five steals.

Caldwell was led in scoring by Secrest with five while Sheridan Archer and Hood added four apiece.

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