Cayton Secrest scores 1,000th point as Caldwell tops Frontier
NEW MATAMORAS — Cayton Secrest tossed in a game-high 21 points including point number 1,000 of her outstanding prep career Saturday afternoon as the Caldwell Redskins pulled away to a 63-50 win over the injury riddled Frontier Cougars at Hank Morus Gymnasium.
Secrest reached the century mark in grand fashion as the Redskin senior knocked down a half court shot as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter of play.
“Frontier is always a hard place for us to play for some reason and I thought we did a good job of shooting the ball well all the way around and had a really good team win,” said Secrest. “I’ve thought about this for a long time and always wanted to get a thousand points like my Dad (Tad Secrest) and my coach Kim (Rucker) so this was special.”
Frontier came into the game minus starters Logan Haught and Tacey Kirkpatrick due to injuries and things only got worse Saturday as starter and leading scorer Kara Ramsey and sixth-girl Jamison Schmidt both left the game after suffering injuries of their own.
The young Cougars managed to hang right in there as they over came an early double-digit lead to give the Redskins all they wanted right into the final quarter.
Caldwell led 12-8 late in the first quarter before scoring the final eight points capped by the first of what would be two half court buzzer-beaters in the game by Secrest.
Trailing by 12 to open the second the Cougars came off the mat in a big way as they scored the first 14 points of the second quarter to turn the 12-point deficit into a two-point lead with three minutes to play in the half.
Caldwell struggled against a pressuring Frontier defense and finally got on the board on a Madi Mumaw free throw late in the quarter.
Jalynn Shapley’s bucket from the top of the key pushed the Cougar lead to three but Caldwell rallied in the closing minute to retake a 25-24 lead thanks to a pair of free throws by Sheridan Archer and a field goal by Sophie Shockling.
Schmidt’s injury occurred in the opening half while Ramsey left the game midway thru the third quarter with the Cougars trailing by five.
Frontier freshman Grace Knowlton picked up the slack by knocking down three triples in the third quarter including one in the final seconds that looked like would send her team to the final period trailing by a single point but Secrest answered with her milestone 3-pointer which couldn’t have came at a better time for her team.
“I never dreamed it would come on a half-court shot let alone two of them in the same game,” said Secrest. “It’s pretty awesome to be able to get to that mark in my career and I’m glad I could do it with my teammates.”
The pesky Cougars managed to keep the game within reach as they trailed 46-45 with five minutes to play before Secrest completed an old-fashioned three-point play to push her teams lead to four.
Baskets by Jules Hood and Sheridan Archer pushed the Redskin lead to eight and after a Shapley free throw briefly slowed their momentum, inside scores by Allison Egnot and Archer gave the visitors their first double-digit lead since the opening quarter.
The under-manned Cougars simply ran out of gas down the stretch as Caldwell never allowed them to get the game under double-digits the rest of the way.
“I’m just proud of the way that everybody contributed to this win ,” said Caldwell head coach Eli Svercek, whose team improved to 5-7 with the win. “We were finishing around the rim and making free throws and everyone stepped up.”
In addition to her 21 points, Secrest pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds while also coming up with five steals.
“Knowing Cayton she is probably more excited that we got the team win than her getting the 1,000th point,” said Svercek. “It’s a huge achievement for her and she has a half of a season left so we are excited to see how many more she will get.”
Joining Secrest in double-figures for the winners was Mumaw with 11 and Archer with 10.
Frontier was led by Knowlton with 14 points while fellow freshman Morgan Haught added 10.
Shapley and sophomore Emily Cisler added nine points apiece.
Frontier head coach Mike Cisler felt his team left everything they had on the floor.
“Despite all the adversity we dealt with our girls hung in there and kept it a very close game,”said Frontier head coach Mike Cisler. “Hats off to Caldwell and congratulations to Cayton. I’m proud of how we battled and proud of the girls we just need to get everybody back healthy.”
The Cougars (5-8) will travel to River on Monday evening while Caldwell will travel to Barnesville on Thursday.