COLUMBUS — The Fredericktown Freddies survived a late football season and several weather delays, and still pulled off a 16-4 regular season and a Mid-Buckeye Conference championship.
On Tuesday, the magical ride came to a sudden end at Columbus Fairgrounds Coliseum.
The No. 2-seed Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs defeated Fredericktown, 46-27, in the district semifinals.
Fredericktown isn’t the biggest team in the area. But the Freddies can win with muscle, as they’ve proved throughout the year against foes such as Northridge and Utica.
But in Bloom-Carroll, they found a team that was just a bit tougher.
“I thought we played well enough defensively,” Fredericktown head coach Kirk Manns said. “But we gave up offensive rebounds we don’t usually give up. A lot of that has to do with their physical play. They’re a good basketball team.”
The Bulldogs like to take the ball inside, which they did with much success on Tuesday. Bloom-Carroll’s sophomore post player Isaac McGlone had the brunt of the work, scoring 12 points and landing five rebounds. A.J. Ireland added 10 points with 10 boards, and Steven Bridgeman led all scorers with 13 points.
Fredericktown’s post players didn’t have the same success. A big reason was rebounding. The Freddies had just three offensive rebounds the entire game. And the team scored off of just one.
The Freddies spread the ball around, not allowing the Bulldogs to focus on any single player. Although the strategy allowed seven different Freddies to score, the lack of rebounding stopped the team cold. Fredericktown’s leading scorer, Justin Snyder, had just five points.
Fredericktown’s half-court defense forced turnovers. However, the Freddies could not take advantage. Fredericktown’s shooting was ice-cold in the first half, going just 6-for-24. Bloom-Carroll didn’t fare much better, going 9-for-25 in the first half. But the Bulldogs hit the shots that mattered. Ireland’s team-leading six points in the half came early, and allowed the Bulldogs to jump out to an early lead.
Austin Updike was the only player from Fredericktown to score until the last minute of the first period, when Ryan Logan hit a bucket to knock the Bulldogs’ lead down to 12-6.