UTICA — The Fredericktown High School girls basketball team gave the Utica High School team all it could handle on Wednesday night, but the Redskins held on for the victory. Utica defeated Fredericktown, 38-29, and continued its domination atop the Mid-Buckeye Conference.
“They hung with us the entire game,” said Utica head coach Michelle Snow. “They always have their team out there prepared and ready to play. I knew it was going to be a battle out there and our kids did as well.”
Fredericktown (5-8, 3-4 MBC) came out and imposed its style of basketball on Utica (9-2, 6-1 MBC), forcing the Redskins to take it a little slower than they are used to. Despite the slower pace of the game, Utica still scored 12 first-quarter points and led by five after one quarter.
“Fredericktown really likes to slow it down,” Snow said. “We have done a much better job since the beginning of the season on our half-court offense. I thought our girls did a nice job of adjusting to their zone defense and got the job done.”
In the second quarter, Utica added three points to its lead and took a 21-13 lead into the halftime break.
Fredericktown was once again able to slow the pace of the game down tremendously in the third quarter and began to try to inch its way back into the contest. The Freddies outscored the Redskins, 5-4, and it was by far the most defensive quarter of play.
The fourth quarter, however, decided the outcome of the game. Utica ran off seven unanswered points and took a 32-18 lead. Five of those seven unanswered points came from Abbie Corbett, who finished as the team’s leading scorer.
“In the second half, we did a much better job of taking care of the basketball,” said Snow. “We came out in the fourth quarter with a little bit more intensity than we did coming out of the half. We picked up the pace and the tempo changed a little bit more in our favor; that probably was the difference.”
The game wasn’t quite over yet, though. Just when it looked like Fredericktown was out of it, the Freddies came roaring back on a 9-4 run and pulled to within nine points, but unfortunatly for the Freddies, it was too little too late.
“We got a little tired and had a couple of breakdowns defensively,” said Fredericktown head coach Dave Logan. “We let them get a few easy baskets and then we had a couple of turnovers. I thought our effort was good, all-in-all we played hard and fought as hard as we could. We are going to try to build on the effort of this game. We can play with just about anyone.”
Utica was led by 15 points from Corbett while Kandis Walker added seven points. Tamra Londot had five points and seven rebounds.
Mackenzie Logan led the Freddies with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals. Lyndsey Briegel dropped in seven points, and Sidney Wilden scored five points.
In junior varsity play, Utica defeated Fredericktown, 53-26. Myranda Wolfe had 12 points for the Redskins and Jordan Morrow added 10 points. Lisa Earnest was Fredericktown’s leading scorer with 10 points.