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Beallsville eliminated in Div. IV by Fort Frye

CAMBRIDGE — Fort Frye tightened the screws early against Beallsville on Wednesday night.

It was a grip the Blue Devils were never unable to unlock themselves from.

Behind a nearly flawless shooting performance from the field in the first quarter, the Cadets raced out to a 15-point lead during the first four minutes and never looked back in rolling to a 60-26 victory in an Ohio Division IV East District girls’ basketball semifinal pitting the bracket’s top two seeds.

Hannah Archer poured in a game-high 18 points for Fort Frye, including four first-quarter 3s, as the OVAC 3A champs pounced early on Cambridge High’s Gene Ford Court. Fort Frye (23-2) hit five treys during the first eight minutes, going 5 of 7 from beyond the arc and 9 of 13 overall from the field in the period in going ahead 23-5 en route to earning a berth in Saturday afternoon’s district final opposite Monroe Central.

The game will be played at Meadowbrook High School at 2. The winner gets the Berne Union-Newark Catholic winner in the Round of 16 next week.

“We’ve been coming out of the gates pretty well, as of late,” an elated Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke said outside the victorious locker room. “We kinda lost it a little bit. But we regained it. We worked extremely hard.”

The Cadets went on an 8-4 run to begin the second quarter, capped by another 3, this one by Liv Schneider, that made the score 31-9. The game was never in question from that point.

Liedtke said his team simply took advantage of what the Blue Devils were giving it in the opening moments.

“They gave us a great opportunity when they went to that zone,” he said. “They were really giving us free shots.”

Beallsville head coach Tori Jarrett was well aware of what the Cadets’ formula for success was, and had planned for it. The execution of the defense she’d implemented, though, simply didn’t go like she’d planned.

“As a shooter, when you see that ball go through the hoop a couple of times, it’s game over,” she said.

“We didn’t defend the 3-point line well at the beginning, and when they saw a couple of shots go through, well, it gets easier after that, I know.”

Seniors Ashlie Louden (15) and Ashley Howell (11) scored all of the Blue Devils’ points, and Howell came alive midway through the second scoring seven straight bringing Beallsville to within 15. But Fort Frye answered with six consecutive to go back up 21.

Lexie Huck added 13 points for the Cadets, who held Beallsville to eight second-half points. Defense, Liedtke said, is the name of the game at this stage of the season.

“It has to be,” he stressed. “This is what we’ve worked for. This is why I made the toughest schedule in team history. We’ve had two losses and they’ve made us better. This is where we need to be.”

As for the Blue Devils, they end the season 21-4 with another sectional title and OVAC crown in their pocket. Jarrett told the players afterwards they were part of a special run, something that will be looked upon in the future with great pride.

“They were amazing,” she said of a squad that finished the season with six players. “We had the best record in school history.

“We lost three starters from last year. If you would’ve told me at the beginning of this year that this would’ve happened I wouldn’t have believed you.

“It wasn’t a waste of a season, that’s for sure.”

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