Late surge lifts Fort Frye past Adena, 66-47

LOGAN – A 26-9 fourth quarter helped the Fort Frye High girls basketball team run away from Adena for a 66-47 regional semifinal victory at Logan High School Wednesday.

The Cadets shot 23-for-43 (53 percent) from the floor and had six players with at least six points in an impressive offensive showing.

“I told our girls that that’s what we have over (Adena),” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “They have two main players but we have all weapons on the floor the whole time. Anytime any one of our players are on the floor, they are weapons.”

Junior Brooke Borich and senior Morgan Liedtke each led the squad with 14 points. Senior Deidra Combs poured in 13 while junior Shawntell Parsons added 11 off the bench.

“There were just different people stepping up at different times,” Dan Liedtke said. “That’s what makes this team such a hard team to defend.”

Adena, which shot 38 percent (18-for-47) in the contest, was led by Jenna Grigsby’s 18 points. Natalie Cooper was the only other Warrior in double digits with 12.

A 3-pointer by Adena’s Michelle Ackley gave the Warriors a 41-40 lead early in the fourth period. The lead was short-lived, however, as Fort Frye scored 21 of the next 23 points to take a 61-43 lead with just over a minute left, putting the game way out of reach.

“It really looked to me like they were starting to get behind on their defense,” Dan Liedtke said of the Warriors. “So we really brought it out and spread it out so we could have some nice takes to the basket and some one-on-one stuff. I think they were getting a little bit behind trying to keep up with us and I think that’s when everything started rolling for us.”

Parsons started the run with a layup followed by two free throws from Borich. After a putback basket by Adena’s Alyssa Kennedy, a Parsons triple and a layup-and-one from Combs made the score 50-43. After a layup by senior Taylor Buchanan forced an Adena timeout, Parsons put in a layup and Borich knocked down a trey to make it a 14-point game. Combs hit a layup followed by a pair of foul shots from Liedtke to seal the deal.

The game was tightly contested on the boards and in the turnover department, with the Cadets holding a 26-23 rebounding edge while coughing it up 11 times to Adena’s 12.

Fort Frye held what seemed to be a comfortable 31-23 lead at halftime, but the Warriors fought back to make it competitive, forcing seven Cadet turnovers in the period. After Adena’s Bethany Delong traded baskets with Buchanan, the Warriors went on a 7-0 run to cut it to 33-32. After a layup from Combs, Cooper hit consecutive jumpers to give Adena a 36-35 lead.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” Dan Liedtke said. “Those were turnovers that weren’t because of their defense. We just threw it away, and those are the kinds of things we have to make sure, on that, to take care of the ball.”

Liedtke then scored five straight points to put Fort Frye back on top by four, but a layup from Cooper made it 40-38 going into the final stanza.

From there, Fort Frye asserted its dominance.

“We gathered ourselves, went ahead, stayed right with it and stayed strong,” Dan Liedtke said. “We didn’t hang our heads at all and we started getting the lead back up.”

Five points by Grigsby helped the Warriors jump out to a 10-5 lead early in the first quarter.

Adena ends its season at 22-3.

The Cadets improved to 24-3, and with the win will play either Johnstown Monroe or Fairland Saturday in the regional final at Logan.

With the Cadets one win away from the Division III state tournament, Dan Liedtke is hoping his players stay focused.

“If you get wrapped up too much about the state thing, then I think that takes away from your focus and what got you here to begin with,” the coach said.

“We’re going work the next two days to try and get prepared. Right now it’s really all about doing the best thing that you do. What we’re good at, that’s what we’ve got to do. We can’t worry too much about the other team and what they do. We’ve got to play our game.”