BEVERLY - Through the first five games of the season, putting that little orange basketball through that little orange hoop has been something of a struggle for the Fort Frye Cadets.
But you certainly couldn't tell the Caldwell Redskins that.
Fort Frye rattled off 46 first half points while shooting a blistering 60 percent from the field, including a smoking 80 percent from inside the three-point line to cruise to a 67-44 win in Beverly Tuesday evening.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Pierson
Fort Frye's Chandler Lang (31) looks for a teammate after faking a shot as Caldwell's Tanner Clark (24) recovers during the first quarter of a basketball game in Beverly Tuesday evening. Fort Frye beat Caldwell 67-44.
"After a four game losing streak it's hard to come back out of that," said Fort Frye boys' basketball coach Eric Henniger. "Anytime you can get a win like this it boosts confidence."
If ever there were two players rolling in confidence, it was the Cadets' Seth Legraen and Shon Smith on Tuesday.
Together, the pair hit on 17-of-30 field goals and accounted for 43 points to power the Fort Frye offense.
Fort Frye 67, Caldwell 44
Caldwell 8 12 14 10 - 44
Fort Frye 22 24 10 11 - 67
Tanner Harding 1-12 0-0 3; Jonathon Wiechman 4-10 2-6 10; Justin Figel 2-6 0-0 5; Tanner Clark 3-10 3-6 11; Daniel Leasure 1-2 3-4 5; Tanner Baker 1-3 2-2 4; Derek RIski 0-0 0-0 0; Caleb Heller 1-1 3-4 6; Jack Ridenour 0-0 0-0 0. Team 13-44 13-22 44. 3pt goals 5 (Clark 2, Heller 1, Figel 1, Harding 1).
FORT FRYE (2-4)
Shon Smith 7-16 3-3 19; Caden Brooker 3-5 1-1 7; Jordan Anderson 2-5 1-1 6; Seth Legraen 10-14 1-2 24; Chandler Lang 4-9 0-0 9; Tyler Norris 0-2 0-0 0; Dominick Omspach 0-2 0-0 0; Kyle Hesson 1-2 0-0 2; Carter Kiefer 0-1 0-0 0; Logan Madison 0-1 0-0 0. Team 27-57 6-7 67. 3pt goals 7 (Legraen 3, Smith 2, Lang 1, Anderson 1).
Caldwell: Shooting 13-44 (29 percent); 3pt shooting 5-25 (20 percent); Rebounds 19 (Wiechman 6, Leasure 6, Clark 5); Assists 6 (Clark 2, Baker 2); Steals 3; Turnovers 12; Blocks 1; Total fouls 14
Fort Frye: Shooting 27-57 (47 percent); 3pt shooting 7-25 (28 percent); Rebounds 31 (Legraen 8, Anderson 5); Assists 15 (Smith 6, Legraen 3); Steals 8 (Hesson 2, Legraen 2); Turnovers 11; Total fouls 19
JV score: Fort Frye 57, Caldwell 35
Caldwell: Kyler McElfresh 8; Jack Ridenour 9; Jarrett Ackley 3; Caleb Heller 11; Alexi Cubas 4
Fort Frye: Carter Kiefer 21; Isaac Klinger 6; Terren Huck 3; Devin Brooker 9; Carter Lang 6; Derek Layton 2; Logan Madison 8; Kyle Kline 2
"Him (Legraen) and I set each other up really well," said Smith, who recorded 19 points and six assists. "They concentrated on us, and Jordan (Anderson) will get open shots. Chandler (Lang) will get open shots."
The Cadet duo dominated the first 16 minutes of play, with Legraen controlling the paint as he hit 7-of-8 field goals from inside the arc and 10-of-14 on the night. All told, the Cadets held a 40-16 advantage inside the three-point arc, with 39 points including free throws a result of play in the paint.
"I think it (post success) is an aggression. We're not the tallest team out there, but we're going to go after it," said Legraen, who notched a game high 24 points to go with eight rebounds.
Inside play got the Cadets rolling in the game's early moments, helping Fort Frye bounce back from Caldwell's strong play in the opening minutes.
The game was tied at 3-3 following Justin Figel's three-pointer for the Redskins, but the Cadets went inside with Lang and Smith hitting a pair of quick buckets in the paint to go up 7-3.
From there, Legraen caught fire as he hit 5-of-6 shots in the first quarter, including a stretch where he scored 12 out of 15 points from the 3:24 mark to the 1:45 point in the opening stanza.
"Seth creates a lot of mismatches for people because he can hit the threes and he can drive. And Shon, he came ready to play (Tuesday) night," Henniger praised.
That strong play was too much for the Redskins, who saw the Cadets make as many field goals with nine as they attempted in the first eight minutes of play, with Caldwell hitting on just three of them.
Overall, Caldwell hit on just 13-of-44 field goals for the game and was just 8-of-25 at the break, when the Redskins trailed 46-20.
"We were getting our hand sin their face as they were shooting. That always makes a difference," Henniger said.
Smith's tri-fecta with 1:14 in the opening quarter halted Legraen's streak of success, but it also put the Cadets ahead 22-5 and they never looked back.
Fort Frye built the lead to 20 for the first time when Smith converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 4:14 to play in the first half. It would dip below that mark just once more, when the Redskins strung together their best offensive effort of the night as Jonathon Wiechman collected a steal and layup to spur Caldwell on an 8-3 run, making the score 37-20.
The lead remained over 20 the rest of the game, despite Fort Frye's struggles in the second half. The Cadets were outscored 14-10 in the third quarter and held just an 11-10 advantage in the fourth after scoring 22 and 24 in the first and second stanzas respectively.
Still, that first half explosion was more than enough offense to carry the tune.
"We ran the offense well (Tuesday) night," Legraen said.
The offense that put up more points in the first two quarters than Caldwell managed for the game has been somewhat lacking through the early games of the season so far for the Cadets.
But they have no doubt it's here to stay now.
"We're all in this together. Now that we got this win, we're going to keep on rolling," Smith said.
Caldwell boys' basketball coach Clint Crane was unavailable for comment after the game.