Fort Frye Girls Use 19-4 Run In 3rd to Take Down Linsly

Freshmen Huck, Ross lead victory with 12 apiece

PHOTO BY JOSH STROPE Linsly’s Josie Purpura (15) moves the ball up the court as Fort Frye freshman Lexi Huck defends during Thursday night’s girls’ basketball game at Stifel Field House in Wheeling.

WHEELING — Whether it be boys’ basketball or girls, Fort Frye coach Dan Liedtke has always prided himself on having patient teams that can handle the basketball.

Thursday night his latest edition of the Lady Cadets proved they may be young with three freshmen in the starting lineup, but they are more than capable of playing the style of basketball Liedtke is known for.

Leading by 14 points early in the third quarter, Fort Frye survived a 10-0 Linsly blitz, finishing the contest on a 19-4 run of its own as the Beverly-based squad won the battle of the Cadets with an impressive 54-39 victory at the Stifel Field House.

After freshman Charlie Allison gave the homestanding Cadets (4-8) their only lead with a 3-point bomb 31 seconds into the contest, the visitors quickly rattled off the next nine points.

Linsly, however managed to stay close, pulling to within 14-13 on a pair of Allison free throws to end the quarter. It was a 16-15 count at 6:13 when Liedtke’s squad finally got the separation it was looking for, closing on a 13-2 rally.

The run included a 10-0 spurt and finished when senior Kelsey Adkins’ long 3-pointer bounced off the rim, hit high off the backboard, bounced off the rim a second time and then fell through for a 29-17 reading. Making matters even worse for Linsly was the fact that they missed the front-end of three 1-and-1 opportunities leading up to that shot.

“We missed a lot of lay-ups and bunnies, but yes, those three 1-and-1 chances late in the second quarter really could have sent us to the locker room in pretty good shape,” Linsly coach Rebecca Upton said.

On the other side, Liedtke admitted that Adkins is someone he doesn’t mind having the ball late in any quarter.

“Kelsey Adkins has hit that buzzer-beating shot so many times for us this year and just seems to come through when she has the ball in her hands late,” he said.

Fort Frye (9-3) pushed the lead to 35-21 in the third before the hosts caught fire and appeared to get right back into the game. Junior Josie Purpura buried a 3-pointer to get it started and Allison added two free throws ahead of another Purpura hoop that made it 35-29.

Freshman Molly Heron’s basket at 4:03 cut the deficit to four, but it was the final field goal of the night for Linsly, which managed four made free throws the rest of the way as Fort Frye methodically pulled away.

“They are so solid, and just a very good basketball team,” Upton said. “We are a very young team, and so are they, but we are still trying to figure ourselves out. They are so patient with the ball. You can play a minute-and-a-half of good defense while they wait for a shot, but they find one little opening and get you.

“It’s also hard to see the floor when they are pressuring you from the outside, which effected our spacing, which wasn’t great at times, and limited us from getting the ball inside.”

Allison finished with a game-highs of 16 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 4:43 to play on her second offensive foul of the night. Purpura added 12 in a losing effort. But what hurt Linsly the most was its inability to get the ball inside to 6-foot-2 senior Mary Bedway, who was held scoreless and managed two shots.

Fort Frye was led by a pair of freshmen, Lexi Huck and Karlee Ross, who each scored 12 points, while junior Morean Borich and Kiersten Kesselring netted 11 points each.

Linsly led 28-25 off the glass but turned the ball over 17 times, five more than their guests. Linsly played Fort Frye even in the first and third periods, but scored four points each in the second and fourth quarters.

“Being patient with the basketball has always been my style,” Liedtke said. “And that is something that is extremely important with this particular team and our lack of size.

“We can’t be a team that runs up and down the floor all night because we don’t have that kind of depth and normally only use six players. But these girls have come a long way.

“When you see young kids with this kind of ability it isn’t the coach, it’s the fact that they understand the game so well and have the ability to stay patient and play their game.”