Fort Frye’s Luke Huffman finally getting selfish
BEVERLY — Fort Frye senior Luke Huffman is capable of being a game-changing player for the Cadets.
The problem, according to head coach Eric Henniger, is that Huffman sometimes isn’t selfish enough.
What Henniger is really saying is that Huffman is a team-first player, and often will look to find open teammates over taking a shot himself.
Huffman, though, is a very accurate shooter from beyond the 3-point line, and moves well without the basketball, often leading to wide open layups as it did multiple times in Tuesday’s overtime victory over Morgan. Huffman finished that game leading all scorers with 22 points, and that’s an example of how he can change games.
“It’s something Luke can do,” Henniger praised. “The problem with Luke is he’s just way too unselfish. He’s our best shooter on the team. We’ve been trying to get him to shoot for four years and finally he decides to tonight after halftime. It was a big lift for us. Luke’s capable of that and we’re expecting him to keep doing it.”
It’s not hard to understand why Huffman would have an unselfish mindset. He is classmates with Nic Hart and Kelton Fogle, two of the top players in the East District. Often times those two players take over games, and so Huffman doesn’t have to look to force shots.
Fort Frye, though, is at its best when all of its playmakers are impacting games. In the win over the Raiders, Huffman, Hart and Fogle combined for 57 of the Cadets’ 64 points. It’s difficult enough to try and defend Fogle and Hart, but when Huffman gets it going, good luck stopping this Fort Frye team.
“We have a lot of scorers,” Huffman said. “(Hart and Fogle) do a lot of the work. When another team has to guard four or five guys it just makes it tougher for them.”
JOINING THE RANKS
Fort Frye was ranked No. 8 in Division III in the latest Associated Press poll.
Henniger said he doesn’t recall another time Fort Frye has been ranked during his tenure as head coach.
“That’s huge,” he said of the ranking. “I don’t think we’ve been ranked since I’ve been a coach. Our kids love it. It’s not something that you just push off to the side. These kids put in so much hard work that when you get a ranking, it shows recognition. We don’t shy away from that. We appreciate the state ranking and our guys love it.”
Huffman admitted that the recognition has served as added motivation for the Cadets.
“It’s made us play even harder knowing that we’re on the boards,” he said. “We just have that extra motivation to play hard and get even higher than that.”
After Tuesday’s win over a quality Morgan team, plus an opportunity to beat a tough Shenandoah squad today, the Cadets could continue to climb the ranks.
Fort Frye’s girls team, which suffered its first loss of the season Monday to Vinton County, came in fifth in D3.
Warren’s boys are ranked 10th in Division II, while the Federal Hocking boys received votes in D4.
A SPECIAL PLAYER
Morgan senior Carver Myers led the Raiders with 19 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday’s loss in Beverly.
It was Myers’ first game back after missing some time, though he looked to be in midseason form against Fort Frye.
“Getting our guys back, I was worried we wouldn’t be in sync, but we were in pretty good sync,” said Morgan head coach Rob Justice, whose team fell to 8-5 overall.
“We took three losses when we had our main guys out. Each game we got better and the young players got a lot of experience.”
Myers eclipsed 1,000 career points last season as a junior. Earlier this season, he became the program’s all-time leading scorer. Henniger had high praise for the Morgan standout.
“If you hold him to 19 (points) in a game like this, that’s a pretty good job considering how good he is,” Henniger said. “I’ve been telling everybody he’s probably the best all-around player that we play. He does everything right.”
It may not be the last time Henniger has to worry about facing Myers, either.
“I’m 100% sure we’ll see (Fort Frye) in the tournament,” Justice said. “It’s probably going to come down to us again in the sectional championship, maybe even the districts. We’ll be ready.”
Jordan Holland is an associate sports editor for The Marietta Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.