FREDERICKTOWN — Playing two of the top teams in the league two consecutive nights could have spelled doom for the Fredericktown boys basketball team. Instead, it put the Freddies two steps closer to a Mid-Buckeye Conference title.
After slipping past Utica on Friday night, the Freddies were in another big-time battle Saturday with Northridge. Through three quarters, things looked bleak for the Freddies. But a strong fourth quarter from the free-throw line helped the Freddies post a 45-35 victory at Fredericktown.
“In the second half, first of all, we played more together on the offensive end,” said Fredericktown coach Kirk Manns. “Our passes were a little crisper, our cuts a little crisper. We got the ball in position to score.”
Northridge (10-6 overall, 8-3 MBC) had taken control in the first half with a strong transition game and the play of senior Justin Howard. The Vikings got four layups in the first quarter on fast breaks and Howard scored nine of his 11 points in the first quarter as they took a 15-10 lead.
“Defensively, we were getting rebounds and guys were sprinting the floor. That helped us get out in transition,” said Northridge coach John Wheeler. “We were able to run the floor, spread them out defensively to get good looks and then made them.”
Fredericktown (11-4, 9-1) couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second quarter, scoring just one basket and five points overall. But, thanks to a solid defensive performance, they were able to stay withing six at intermission (21-15).