When it comes to Pioneer Valley Conference play the Fort Frye Cadets are blissfully perfect.
By picking up a 62-32 win over the visiting Frontier Cougars at Fort Frye High School Thursday evening the Cadets completed the 2011-12 season with an unblemished 12-0 record in league play.
Photo by Kevin Pierson
Frontier’s Corisa Fickiesen, right, tries to get around the defense of Fort Frye’s Shawntell Parsons. Fort Frye won, 62-32.
And when it came time to secure their 12th PVC win of the year, the Cadets wasted no time, forcing the Cougars into 10 turnovers in the first quarter as Fort Frye scored 10 of the first 12 points in the game and never looked back, despite shooting just 21-of-52 in the game.
"The ball wasn't really falling the greatest for us. We had a lot of good looks," said Fort Frye basketball coach Dan Liedtke.
Fort Frye was just 4-for-12 in the first quarter, but the Cadets didn't really need the offense for much as the defense was constantly hounding Frontier.
In the game, the Cadets had four different players record at least five steals, with junior guard Taylor Buchanan leading the way with seven swipes.
Frontier had just two unforced turnovers in the game, but couldn't begin to get away from the Fort Frye defense that was constantly stepping in front of passes and swatting away dribbles.
"We just had too many turnovers and they capitalized on the turnovers," said Frontier girls basketball coach Eric Rinard.
Committing 26 turnovers in the game, the Cougars had nearly as many turnovers as they did shots with 33.
Once they did finally get a shot up, the Cougars were limited to just that one as Frontier had just two offensive rebounds in the game and none until Mackenzie Haessly collected one for a putback basket with 7:26 left in the fourth quarter. Both Frontier offensive rebounds led to buckets, but limited chances always leads to limited points.
"That mathematically makes sense. The more times they get offensive rebounds the more times they're going to shoot, the more times they're going to score," Liedtke said.
While Frontier needed some extra chances to put the ball in the bucket, the Cadets were taking advantage of the opportunities their defense gave them.
Fort Frye scored the game's first six points, leading 6-0 when Morgan Liedtke hit 1-of-2 free throws. The missed free throw by Liedtke was the second missed charity attempt in three shots for Fort Frye, but the Cadets would miss just one more in the game and hit 17 straight.
The Cadets would lead 13-4 after one quarter of play, with senior Sammi Hanson scoring off an assist from Deidra Combs with 11 seconds in the opening stanza.
Leading by nine, Fort Frye extended the lead to 17 by scoring the first eight points of the second quarter for a 21-4 advantage on Buchanan's bucket off a Hanson assist with 4:25 before the break.
Frontier scored consecutive buckets for the first time, with Haessly and Laken Camino twinkling the twine before Fort Frye rattled off nine of the final 12 points in the half.
An 18-point advantage ballooned exponentially in the third quarter, as the Cadets hit their first four field goals of the second half and tallied 20 points in the frame on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 at the line.