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Fort Frye downs Frontier in opener, 61-15

BEVERLY — The Fort Frye girls picked up right where they left off.

A 61-15 win over Frontier is how the Cadets opened the 2020-21 season, and the team’s speed and defense was on full display. Following a pair of Logan Haught free throws, the Cougars had their only lead of the game at 3-2. Then, Fort forced turnovers and didn’t look back. A 30-0 run by head coach Dan Liedtke’s Cadets created the distance needed to put the game away early, as Hannah Archer scored 11 points in a row during the run in the middle of the second quarter. Archer finished with a game-high 22 points and netted four triples in the win. Liedtke saw his defense as fast and strong, but he also said his team has plenty to work on in the future.

“We started out really nice, but it’s the first game. There are some things we need to clean up,” Liedtke said. “We’ve got a big one coming up on Saturday (against Union Local), and we’re going to have to have that stuff cleaned up when we play the next team. We want to go out and play endline to endline, and these girls just love that kind of play. We’ve got to use our speed to our advantage, because we don’t have much height. We like to play right from the start, and we don’t want to wait around and get comfortable.”

Despite the score, the Cadets moved the ball around with multiple scorers in mind. Mackenzie Dalton was the next-highest scorer on the floor with 15, as she took dives for loose basketballs and did what she needed to get the job done. For her, Dalton knows it’s just one game, and that there’s more work to be done.

“We knew how we could shoot, so we just have to make better passes,” Dalton said of how the team should prepare for future opponents. “It feels good to win, but we just work to get better for the bigger games. As of right now, we’ve just got to put our all into one game at a time, because you never know when we could close (due to COVID-19).”

Lexie Huck was next in line at nine points on the night, as the scoring continued. Defensively, Frontier (0-2) felt plenty of pressure, as the second half saw the Cougs get off to a slow start. The third quarter saw the visitors struggle to find the bottom of the net, as FFHS shut out Frontier in the frame. The scoreless drought ended with a 3-ball from Tracey Kirkpatrick late in the final quarter. Frontier head coach Mike Sisler knows this game was a part of a learning opportunity for his young, sophomore-heavy squad.

“We came out and really wanted to play good man-to-man defense on them,” Sisler said. “We know the caliber of team they have, and we’re still learning. You’ve just got to make shots and break the press. When we broke the press, we’d turn the ball over. I don’t know how many turnovers we had, but they play really good defense. Like I told our kids, this is going to be the toughest team weáll see all year. It shows us where we’ve got to be to get to that next level. Weáre going to see what we’ve got to adjust.”

Frontier welcomes Bridgeport for a 2:30 p.m. tipoff on Saturday, as Sisler’s bunch takes what they’ve learned from this loss. Liedtke’s crew travels on on Saturday to Harrison Central for that contest against Union Local, and the head man is preparing his team for bigger and better things.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Everybody wants to get better from where they are, in order to prepare for tournament time.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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