Fort Frye wins showdown with Shenandoah
SARAHSVILLE — Undefeated Fort Frye saved the best for last in Friday night’s showdown between themselves and also unbeaten Shenandoah.
The Cadets trailed after three quarters but out-pointed the Zeps 19-9 in the final eight minutes of play en route to a 52-44 win at Shenandoah High School.
Fort Frye’s senior duo of Nic Hart and Kelton Fogle accounted for every single point in the final quarter as the Cadets found a way to win a game that looked like it might just slip away from them.
“It’s pretty nice having two guys like Kelton (Fogle) and Nic (Hart) who can score like that… we just need to find a way to get other guys involved right now,” said Cadet head coach Eric Henniger. “It’s nice to have leaders like that that have been playing for three years where no situation is too big for them.”
The Cadets jumped out to a 14-13 lead after one quarter of play but were out-scored 13-7 in the second quarter to find themselves in a 26-21 hole at the intermission.
Shenandoah got strong first halves from seniors Christian Duniver and Max McVicker as they combined for 24 of the 26 points scored by the home team in the first 16 minutes of play.
Fogle was limited to just two points in the opening half as he spent much of the second quarter on the bench with a pair of fouls.
Hart got the Cadets out of the gate quickly in the third quarter as he scored back-to-back buckets to pull the Fort to within two but a 3-pointer by sophomore Grant Stottsberry pushed the Zepplin lead back to four.
Fort Frye pulled even on back-to-back baskets by Luke Huffman and Owen Brown but once again Shenandoah found a way to pull back in front on inside scores from McVicker and Mason Stottsberry.
Huffman and Brown scored consecutive field goals once again to knot the score before a deuce by Baylor Wentworth sent the home team into the final quarter with a 35-33 lead.
Fogle provided the Cadets with their first lead since way back in the opening quarter when he scored four straight points to open the final period of play, but Shenandoah rallied to jump back in front when Duniver connected on a triple with less than five minutes to play. Hart knotted the game at 41-41 on a short jumper and Fogle followed with a bucket of his own to push the Cadets back in front.
After the Zeps came up empty on their next possession, Brown missed the front end of a 1-and-1 but Fogle grabbed the offensive rebound and fed Hart for a driving basket to give the visitors a four-point lead with a little more than two minutes to play.
Wentworth drained a long triple at the other end to bring Shenandoah to within a single point but the Cadets scored the final seven points of the game to escape with the hard fought win.
Hart led all scorers with 22 points while also filling up his stat sheet with six rebounds, six steals and four assists.
“Nic does a lot of good things other than just scoring,” said Henniger of Hart. “He gets a lot of rebounds and a lot of steals and is also a very big part of our defense.”
Fogle added 11 including nine in the final quarter while Brown and Huffman chipped in with seven apiece.
Duniver, who like Hart wears number one on his jersey, had a similar outstanding all-around game as he led the Zeps with 17 points while grabbing six boards and dishing out five assists.
“They were hurting us a lot in the first half with Christian (Duniver) having the ball in his hands and getting to the hoop and we know when he has the ball in his hands he’s going to make things happen,” said Henniger. “Keeping the ball out of his hands was our goal in the second half and I think we did a pretty good job of that.”
The game was one that Shenandoah head coach Marc Smith felt was a very winnable one for his team.
“We were right there but we are not into moral victories. They were the tougher basketball team and were stronger with the basketball and were more physical than us,” said Smith, whose team slips to 4-1 with the loss. “When the game is on the line and you have to have guys step up and make plays they had that. We just didn’t show up when it mattered.”
McVicker finished the game with 13 points and five boards.
The Cadets will have little time to savor their victory as they pay a visit to Fairland on Saturday night.