FREDERICKTOWN — The Centerburg Trojans were down 32-30 with 8.4 seconds to go, and a deep shot from Kristy Vargo with 4.5 ticks left proved to be the difference to give the Trojans a 33-32 win over the Fredericktown Freddies Wednesday.

“You’ve just got to believe,” Vargo said. “You catch, you shoot. It’s muscle memory. You’ve done this hundreds of times and you’ve just got to know it’s going in.”

Vargo caused a tie-up that gave the Trojans the ball and set up the timeout by coach Bo Glenn. In the timeout, he drew up the play and Emmi Harmon had the inbounds feed to Vargo, who connected for the win.

“We’re on the road and it’s a rivalry game, I go for the win, I don’t go for ties,” Glenn said. “I told her in the huddle I knew she would knock it down.”

Centerburg started the contest out hot, taking a 9-2 lead, but the Freddies continued to shoot the ball and trimmed the lead to 12-10. Fredericktown hit a pair of threes in the first, while the duo of Savannah Gammell and Grace Mulpas combined for nine points in the opening quarter.

The Trojans built on their lead in the second quarter, with four players combining to score 13 points. Fredericktown was limited to six points in the second, led by four from Olivia Mast, and the home team went into the locker room down 25-16.

Returning to the floor, Fredericktown’s defense really locked up the post in the second half, limiting the Trojans to one point in the third quarter on a freebie from Mulpas. On the other end of the floor, Audrey Bouton poured in four points to lead the Freddies to an 8-1 quarter to cut the lead to 26-24.

“You saw the two freshmen did a great job, Gabby Daniels and Audrey Bouton, doubling down on Gammell,” Fredericktown coach Tim Maceyko said. “They ended up playing a lot more than some of my upper classmen because they did such a great job defensively, that I was afraid to take them back out.”

Fredericktown got its first lead nearly a minute into the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws from Sophie Lester and that lead lasted for two minutes, until Gammell knocked down a bucket with 5:01 to go. Fredericktown quickly rallied and went ahead 32-28, before a Mulpas two put the score at 32-30 and set the stage for Vargo’s eventual game-winner.

“Shooters gotta shoot,” Vargo said. “You can’t miss all the time. One of them’s got to fall eventually. It’s just a mindset. Shooting is definitely a mindset. You’ve got to have a short memory.”
Maceyko called a timeout after the three, but the Freddies weren’t able to get off another shot.

“We haven’t been in that situation this year,” Maceyko said of holding a lead late. “We’ve been down so many times that they didn’t know how to close out a game.”

Mulpas and Gammell paced the Trojans in scoring and on the glass, with each notching a double-double. Mulpas turned in 11 points and 12 boards, while Gammell added 10 points, 10 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.

“The name of our game is inside,” Glenn said. “It is unbelievable how well they (Gammell and Mulpas) feed each other the ball and feed off of each other.”

Vargo hit two 3-pointers in the game to finish with eight points and four rebounds. Chloe Goulter amassed the other four points for the Trojans, to go along with three rebounds and two steals.

Olivia Mast came off the bench Wednesday but still led the Freddies with 10 points. Sophie Lester was not far behind with eight points, four rebounds, an assist and two steals. Bouton had five points, four boards and two swipes. Jacklyn Nussbaum, Tayler Overholt and Celeste Swihart combined for the final seven points and Overholt and Nussbaum were having their way on the glass, hauling in 10 and nine rebounds, respectively.

Centerburg improved to 5-14 on the year with a 5-9 record in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference. The Trojans have Senior Night Saturday at home against Grandview Heights, starting with JV action at 1 p.m. Fredericktown, now 1-15 and 0-13 in the KMAC, hits the road Saturday for a varsity only contest against Delaware Christian, tipping off at 7:30 p.m.

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Erick Starkey: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mvnstarkey