Nic Hart, Kelton Fogle combined for 50 as Fort Frye tops Belpre
BEVERLY — Fort Frye wasn’t at full strength going into Friday night’s season opener against Belpre, and it showed early.
The visiting Golden Eagles jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, but the Cadets rallied to tie it at 14-14 by the end of the first quarter. They then outscored Belpre 18-11 in the second and 19-8 in the third to pull away en route to a 68-51 victory.
Fort Frye went with a fullcourt press early, but Belpre dissected it well.
“We’re just not in shape yet,” said Fort Frye head coach Eric Henniger. “It really showed in the beginning. We figured that out pretty quick when it was 10-2. We decided to drop back into a regular man-to-man defense for the rest of the game and tried to keep our legs. When you’re running on a short roster … we thought we were in better shape than what we were, but we weren’t.”
Nic Hart and Kelton Fogle combined for 50 points to lead Fort Frye. Hart finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and six steals while Fogle added 24 points, five steals, five boards and four assists. Brady Medley contributed nine boards and three dimes.
“They both played good,” Henniger said. “They got their shots when they needed to. Our guys were looking for them, and that’s the biggest thing. We try to get all five guys involved in the game throughout the game, and our guys were looking for each other. When you’re doing that, you can go off.”
Evan Wells and Connor Baker scored 12 points apiece to lead the Golden Eagles, who defeated Meigs in their opener. Jordan Harrington and Brady Shriver chipped in eight points each. Dylan Cox led Belpre with seven boards while Ashton Yeater handed out six assists.
Baker drilled a jumper to tie the game at 2-all before back-to-back 3-pointers by Wells gave Belpre an 8-2 lead.
Baker then hit another jumper to make it 10-2. Hart hit back-to-back jump shots before Medley made a layup to get within two. Fogle’s triple with 30 seconds left in the quarter knotted the score at 14-all.
Tyce Church opened the second period with a trey, but Fort Frye rallied to take a 19-18 lead on another Fogle 3. Brady Shriver’s basket answered with a basket to put Belpre back in front, but Hart’s drive and Fogle’s 3-pointer put the Cadets up for good, 26-20. Transition layups by Hart and Fogle stretched it to nine, 30-21, but Shriver made consecutive buckets on assists by Yeater and Cody Daugherty to cut it to five. Brian Adkins made a layup in the final seconds of the half to put the Cadets up 32-25 at the break.
The Cadets went up 10 in the third quarter after five straight points by Hart. Later, 3s by Hart and Fogle powered a 10-0 Fort Frye run to make it 47-29. Belpre found itself down 51-33 after three, but clawed back in the fourth. Layups by Baker and Harrington, followed by a pair of free throws from Baker, helped the Golden Eagles get within 12, 53-41. However, Fort Frye scored 11 of the game’s next 13 points to put things away.
Belpre shot 42% (21 for 50) from the floor in the game but made just 3 of its 19 3-point attempts. Fort Frye was 28 for 59 (48%) from the floor and 7 for 21 from beyond the arc, five of those 3s coming from Fogle. It was a nice win against a tough opponent for a shorthanded Cadets team.
“Right now we’ve got like 14 kids quarantined,” said Henniger, whose team visits Meigs Saturday. “My whole varsity bench wasn’t even here tonight.
“It was an experiment. I don’t want to say it was fun … it was kind of stressful, but I was proud of the way the seniors stepped up.”
For Belpre (1-1), the schedule doesn’t get much easier as up next is a trip to Warren Tuesday.
Jordan Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.