WESTERVILLE — The Briegel sisters — junior Courtney and freshman Lyndsay — brought the Fredericktown Freddies back from the brink of a first-round elimination in its Division III Central District sectional game on Friday evening. Lindsay took Courtney’s inbound pass with 6.4 seconds to go, found an opening in the lane and hit a last-second jumper to lead the Freddies to a 25-24 victory over Northmor at Westerville North High School.
In the Freddies’ most important game of the year, the Briegels seemed pull it off the way they have practiced in their back yard all their lives.
“Yes, we did,” laughed a jubilant Courtney Briegel (11 points, four assists). “It feels awesome. I came into this game kind of nervous, because we hadn’t been playing real well as a team in the past couple of games.”
Lyndsay Briegel’s winning shot represented the only points the Freddies scored in the entire fourth quarter.
“My heart was beating a million miles an hour,” said the younger Briegel. “I was so scared. I was saying, ‘I just got to shoot it. I’m going to do it. I’m going to get this ball in the hoop so we can win this basketball game.’ I did what I did and it went in.”
The Freddies looked strong early on, taking a 12-4 lead early in the second quarter. More importantly Courtney Briegel was finding teammate Mackenzie Logan (eight points, 3-for-8 field goals, six rebounds, two steals) in the post, getting a couple of assists and hitting a shot of her own.
Sloppy shooting, fouls and 11 first-half turnovers eroded that lead and sent the Knights into the locker room at the half with a 13-12 advantage.
“We played well in the first and third quarters,” said Fredericktown coach Dave Logan. “We didn’t rebound in the second and fourth.”
The Freddies took the lead back and built it up to 23-17 in the third quarter but then, they fell flat. Turnovers, fouls and missed opportunities ate away at their offense.
“All the stuff that you are going to have with young, inexperienced teams,” said coach Logan. “We played two freshmen and two sophomores. Even two of our three seniors don’t have that much experience anyway.”
Meanwhile, the Freddies and their defense were clinging to a shrinking lead. Finally, Northmor’s Mary Keen, who led all scorers with 14 points, broke through and hit a jumper from the top of the paint to give her team the lead, 24-23, with 2:33 to play.
Things deteriorated more when Logan picked up her fourth foul and the Freddies spent their last time out with 1:12 left. Northmor converted on three of four free throws in the final quarter and were 8-for-10 for the game.
“We made some mistakes,” said coach Logan. “We got some bad spots, we didn’t rebound the ball and we turned the ball over a few times, but Northmor did a nice job. They improved over the year but, defensively, we held them to 24 points and you should win when you hold someone to 24 or 25 points. We’re just glad it was us.”
The Freddies were down to a precious few chances when Courtney Briegel got the ball in the paint with 28.3 seconds remaining, hurried her shot against the Golden Knights relentless defense and missed.
Fortunately for Fredericktown, she got the ball back with a key steal with 12 seconds to go. That would eventually set up the final play of the game and the unlikely hero.
“I thought that (the ball on the final inbound) was going to go to Mackenzie (Logan) because that is what we have been doing in past games,” said Lyndsay Briegel (four points, two rebounds), who knew what to do when she got the ball. “I just saw that middle wide open, I took it and I drove it and shot it.”
Her shot has extended the Freddies’ season for one more game.
“We were in the regional final last year and I wanted us to get that far — maybe further,” said Courtney Briegel. “So, the first game is over and we take the next step.”
The Freddies will be right back at Westerville North High School again Thursday at 6:15 p.m., playing Marion Pleasant. The Spartans defeated Horizon Science Academy on Friday night, 97-18.