FREDERICKTOWN — Fredericktown survived a late charge from the visiting East Knox girls basketball team Thursday night. East Knox mounted a huge comeback in the second half, but Fredericktown held on to grab the 37-35 victory.
The first half belonged solely to the Freddies. They jumped out to a 9-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and quickly established their dominance. The second quarter saw more of the same as Fredericktown continued to add to its lead. They took a 21-12 lead into the locker room and things looked very positive for the Freddies.
In the second half a different East Knox team came out to play. After the Freddies scored the first two points of the third quarter, the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run and pulled within three points. By the time the quarter was over, East Knox pulled off a 13-6 run and closed the game to within two points.
“In the first half we were really focused,” said Fredericktown head coach Dave Logan. “In the second half I don’t know what we were doing. We stopped rebounding and pressuring the ball. We turned the ball over so many times in the second half and gave them extra possessions. If you do that you take the chance that you will give the game away.”
The fourth quarter was a battle, with the Bulldogs getting as close as one point, but Fredericktown never surrendered the lead the entire game. The Freddies managed to keep the quarter even at 10 points apiece thanks in part to a huge quarter from sophomore Taylor Carpenter. Carpenter scored seven of her nine points in the final quarter to seal the victory for the Freddies.
“Taylor hasn’t had a lot of experience but she really plays as hard as she can and does all she can do,” said Logan. “She did a great job tonight, she has great energy, is a great athlete and will do anything we ask.”
“I think we might have thought we had it in the third quarter and then we realized they weren’t going to back off,” Carpenter said. “We knew we needed to pull through and we came back together as a team.”
The loss was another heartbreaker for the Bulldogs. They fell behind in the first half and came back huge in the second half once again, and once again narrowly missed pulling off the come-from-behind victory.
“This is the story of our season,” said East Knox head coach Daryl Uhde. “We get down, we fight back, come back and almost win but we lose. I get mad when a team doesn’t hustle and I can’t get mad this year. Do we make mistakes, yeah, but we never quit hustling. We are 3-7 but we are 15 points from being 7-3. We could easily be 7-3.”
As hard as the loss was for East Knox, it was a big win for Fredericktown. The Freddies are clawing their way back into the Mid-Buckeye Conference race and hope to continue the surge.
“We are back to .500,” said Logan. “We are 5-5 and 3-3 in the Mid Buckeye Conference. We try to break the season up into four quarters. We struggled in the first quarter, we went 1-4, but in this quarter we went 4-1. I think three or four losses could still be in the hunt for the conference championship, you never know.”
East Knox was led by Brittany Dawson, who scored 14 points, while Sierra Mazzaro added 10 points. Mackenzie Logan had 13 points for the Freddies, while Courtney Briegel and Carpenter both added nine points.
Fredericktown travels to Utica on Saturday while East Knox hosts Johnstown. Both games start with junior varsity play starting at 1 p.m.
In junior varsity action, East Knox defeated Fredericktown, 21-19. Kristen Boyd led East Knox with six points. Fredericktown was lead by Tricia Troyer with seven points and Lisa Earnest had six points.