NEWARK — The Fredericktown Freddies are heading the the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Lifted by Ryan Logan’s hot hand from the floor and Nash Cunningham’s cool hand from the line, The Freddies got by the tough West Jefferson Roughriders, 52-49, to win Friday’s Division III Sectional Final at Newark High School. For the Freddies, it was a total team effort.
“You’ve got to give credit to our seniors,” said Fredericktown coach Kirk Manns. “You’ve got to give credit to Austin Updike (eight points) who battled in there on the inside and played a ton of minutes for us tonight. You’ve got to give credit to Ryan Logan, who kept us in the ball game in the first half with a lot of points and some big buckets in the second half. You’ve got to give Nash Cunningham credit for stepping up and making foul shots in the end. There were a lot of guys, who did a lot of things and it was a good team win tonight.”
With Rashad Boyd out for the Freddies due to a team rules violation, the Freddies really needed Logan’s 23 points, which included 15 in the first half, That kept the Freddies in stride with the Roughriders, tied at the half at 31.
“If you hit your first shot, you’ve just got to keep shooting,” said Logan. “Just keep going. You feel it, I guess.”
Logan put the Freddies ahead early in the third quarter, 33-31, but the Freddies’ shooting went cold and West Jefferson’s Cody Toki and Ryan Love each hit a couple of field goals to lead by as many as five. Fredericktown’s Justin Snyder grabbed a rebound and hit a nice follow off a missed Garrett Gatton jumper to close the gap to 41-39, with the Roughriders leading at the end of the third.
West Jefferson rebuilt their lead, stretching it to 47-41 on a 3-pointer by Toki and a bucket by Love midway through the final quarter.
That was when Cunningham (nine points, four assists) and the Freddies defense really kicked in. Cunningham hit a bucket and drew a foul from Love on the Freddies’ next possession. The Freddies got the ball right back on a West Jefferson turnover and Logan hit a basket to cut the lead to 47-46 with 3:33 left in the game.
Gatton, who was carrying four fouls, hit a jumper with 1:43 to go, giving the Freddies the lead. West Jefferson took the lead right back with Love hitting a bucket to make it a 49-48 game. That, however, would be the only time that the Roughriders would score in the final four minutes of the game.
“We had a good flow offensively,” said Manns, whose team had only nine turnovers. “