HOWARD — The Fredericktown Freddies (10-9, 7-6 MBC) came into East Knox High School looking for a league win on the road. They had to claw their way out.
The Freddies and the host East Knox Bulldogs (8-10, 6-6 MBC) gutted it out for four quarters, plus an overtime, before the Freddies prevailed, 45-40.
“We won this after coming off a nice win on the road Monday night in overtime,” said Fredericktown coach Wes Elfritz. “It would have been nice to get out of here comfortably, but East Knox has a very good team. They’ve proved it all year. We were fortunate to come up with the plays at the end when we needed to.”
It looked like it was going to go a lot easier for the Freddies when freshman Katie Ruhl hit a 3-pointer with under a minute left in the first half. That put the Freddies ahead 25-16.
Junior Lyndsay Briegel (11 points, three 3’s) landed another 3 at the start of the second half to make it a 28-18 Freddies lead.
The Bulldogs got a couple of buckets from Josie Burwell (15 points, 5 rebounds) to close to within six, 30-24, but the Freddies shut them down from the floor for the last four mintes of the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Freddies got a basket from Hope Huvler (six points) undernieth and another Briegel 3-pointer to maintain a 35-26 advantage.
That was when the Bulldogs began to really bear down on defense and turn the tables on the Freddies.
First, East Knox senior Jill Regal (eight points, four steals) got a putback off a Kristen Boyd miss. Teammate Hayley Gray (five points, three assists) soon followed with a 3-pointer to cut the Fredericktown lead to 35-31 with 6:45 to go in regulation.
“Our girls just have a huge heart,” said East Knox coach Jim Davis. “They never have given up — even in our worst games. That’s the way they are in practice and in the conditioning we have done. My kids play hard all the time.”
Regal kept it close with a nice reverse layup and then, two possessions later, Gray stole the ball in the Freddies’ end and fed it to Desiree Cottrell, who got the easy bucket — her only one of the game. With 3:59 left, the Freddies’ lead was only 37-35 and they would only manage a single field goal in the fourth quarter.