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Fort Frye eliminates Buckeye Trail in sectional

TOM PERRY The Marietta Times Fort Frye’s Tyler Bradford, right, drives on Buckeye Trail’s Brandon Barnett during a high school boys Division III sectional semifinal basketball game Tuesday in Beverly.

BEVERLY — It started like so many other Fort Frye games this season.

The Cadets couldn’t make a shot and their opponent was on fire. Fortunately for Fort Frye a late first-quarter rally sparked the Cadets as they rallied for a 57-47 victory over Buckeye Trail in the Division III Sectional Semifinal Tuesday night.

“We knew going in that it would be two evenly matched teams,” said Fort Frye coach Eric Henniger. “We told our team that Buckeye Trail was a mirror image and that we’d have to play well to win.”

Henniger was right. Trail jumped out to a 13-3 lead as five different Warriors scored. With all of the momentum and the Cadets making just 1 of 6 shots, Fort Frye finally found some offense as Brady Schilling hit back-to-back shots before freshman Nic Hart buried a 3-pointer with a few seconds remaining.

“Our bench stepped up and we needed them to do that,” Henniger said.

Fort Frye (13-9) outscored the Warriors (10-13) 11-10 in the second quarter, but trailed 23-21 at halftime.

“We had to do something different, and when we did it worked really well,” Henniger said. “Buckeye Trail is familiar with us and our gym, so we knew they’d come in ready to play.”

Early in the second half, Fort Frye was able to find open cutters under the basket for easy layups and the Cadets outscored Trail 21-15 in the third quarter.

“We started using our flare screens and they weren’t ready for it and couldn’t cover it,” said senior Tyler Bradford, who had eight points and six assists.

Fort Frye took its first lead of the game with 6:37 to play in the third quarter when Brayson Schilling made a lay-up to give the Cadets a 27-25 advantage. The Warriors tied it right back up with a Trey Dougherty basket, but Fort Frye responded with an 8-0 run and never trailed.

Senior Grayson Schott, who led Fort Frye with 14 points, had nine points in the third quarter. Brady Schilling, who had 12 points, had four points in the decisive third.

Buckeye Trail didn’t go away, though, and cut the Fort Frye lead to one with 1:54 to play. However, the Cadets scored the final nine points of the game for the final score.

“Coach reminded us that Trail beat us last year in an OVAC game, and we owed them tonight,” Bradford said. “That sparked us and we didn’t want to lose to them on our home court, and we didn’t want our season to end.”

Buckeye Trail’s Dylan Beaver led all scorers with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. He also had five rebounds. Brandon Barnett added 13 points and Brand Ruminger had five rebounds.

Fort Frye, who is the fourth seed in the sectional, will face No. 5 seed Ridgewood at 7 p.m. Friday at The Fort in Beverly. Ridgewood defeated Edison 70-53 to advance.

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