FREDERICKTOWN — With about a minute remaining in the third quarter Thursday, things were looking good for the Fredericktown girls basketball team. But, that’s when the wheels fell off and the Freddies fell to visiting Northridge, 31-23, in Mid-Buckeye Conference action.
“We lost our composure a little bit. We’re still young and as a coach I’m still trying to find a way to put us in our best spots to be successful. This one’s on me,” said Fredericktown coach Wes Elifritz. “We did not really play our offense and did not get the same good looks we did in the first game.”
Despite struggling a bit offensively in the first and third quarters, the Freddie defense had kept them in the ballgame. Fredericktown (1-1 overall, 0-1 MBC) held Northridge (1-0, 1-0) to just 19 points through the first 23 minutes.
But, the Vikings were able to find 6-foot-2 senior post Keilah Ketron for two quick buckets and things seemed to fall apart for the Freddies.
“The big girl hit a couple of nice layups, but what she really did was clog up the middle. She was able to take away what we wanted to do offensively,” Elifritz said.
Those two buckets, as well as a 3-pointer from Kelsey Garrabrant with just three seconds to go in the third quarter, helped spark the Vikings, who turned up the defensive pressure in the final period. The Freddies made just 3 of 14 shots in the second half, including just 1 of 7 in the final quarter, and turned the ball over 17 times. The Freddies final points of the game came at the 6:38 mark of the fourth quarter.
“I think we really picked up our man defense,” said Northridge coach Ashley Holmberg. “We’ve preached that defense wins games. We stepped up and played good defense (in the second half).”
After watching Northridge take an early lead, the Freddies offense stepped up midway through the second quarter. A 9-2 run helped the Freddies take a 16-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.