FREDERICKTOWN — Thomas Hinkle scored 13 points and freshman Ryan Logan dropped in another 10 to lift the Fredericktown Freddies to a 53-43 win over the visiting Northridge Vikings in Mid-Buckeye Conference action on Friday.
The Freddies got out quickly, grabbing an early lead when Tyler Hathaway (two steals, five points) grabbed a steal and Hinkle converted the basket with an assist from Tony Lybarger.
On the Vikings’ next possession, Hinkle (five rebounds, two steals) got a steal, missed the shot but hit the putback to go up 7-0.
“Thomas is a senior and a leader,” said Fredericktown coach Kirk Manns. “He’s our leading scorer and our leading rebounder right now. (Northridge’s) zone slowed him down a little bit tonight and that’s what a zone is supposed to do. It’s tough when you are the focus of the defense every night.”
Logan added a bucket and held the Freddies’ lead at 9-2.
“Ryan is a typical freshman — up and down,” said Manns. “I think he’s getting better, game-by-game. He’s got a lot of potential and I hope that some day we get to see all that potential.”
Northridge’s Connor Burke (nine points, four rebounds) and 6-foot-4 E.J. Snyder (15 points, five rebounds) both hit a bucket and converted foul their shots to draw the Vikings to within a basket late in the first, 13-11.
Hathaway and C.J. Ruhl (nine points) each hit 3-pointers and Logan finished the half with a bucket to put the Freddies up 27-16 at the half.
The Freddies stumbled out of the gate in the second half, turning over the ball seven times in the first five minutes while going scoreless.
“I thought we came out a little flat,” said Manns. “Winning is never easy and a basketball game is 32 minutes long, not 16.”
“In the second half we came out really slow,” said Ruhl. “Luckily, we built up a lead in the first half and we were able to sustain it. We’ve had a tendency to do that the last couple of games.”
Meanwhile Snyder hit a bucket and Burke got a putback to pull the Vikings to within seven. Burke hurt his ankle and stayed in the game, but was hobbled.
With 2:37 to go in the third, Justin Snyder (five points, two assists) who was in the game off the bench, hit the Freddies’ first bucket on the second half. He followed with a 3-pointer and the Freddies were back in charge, 32-21.
“We got a great boost from our bench tonight,” said Manns. “They did more than hold their own — they increased the lead. They really gave us a boost. They played a stretch of five minutes in that third quarter and I am really proud of the way they played. We needed a basket. We had gone a while without a field goal at that point.”
“Our bench came in and did what they were supposed to do,” said Ruhl. “They went on a little bit of a run there. Our depth is strong. Justin can come in there and shoot the 3. Austin Updike can handle every down low and Tony is a great athlete and can do a lot of things.”
The Vikings fought back to close the gap midway through the fourth, when Caleb Higgens hit a basket and the ensuing foul shot to make it a 41-36 Fredericktown lead. Snyder hit a 3-pointer with 2:50 left and, suddenly, Northridge was within four, 43-39. That was as close as they got. The Freddies hit their final six free throws to ice the game.
“We come in every morning at 7:30 and shoot free throws, so it’s nice to see them pay off,” said Ruhl.
“Northridge came out aggressively and shot the ball incredibly well tonight,” said Manns. “They hit some tough shots, they got penetration and the hit their 3-point shots. They deserve a lot of credit.”
In junior varsity action, the Freddies handled Northridge, 50-32. Max Miller led the Freddies with 18 points. David Probonic had 16 for the Vikings.