CARDINGTON — The Fredericktown Freddies played arguably the best team in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference during Wednesday’s girl’s basketball game in which the Cardington Pirates beat them 63-25.

The Freddies learned a lot from a game that got away from them early on despite a valiant effort on both sides of the ball.

“Our problem is just that we don’t have a lot of ball handling,” said Fredericktown Coach Tim Maceyko. “We got pressed and that showed that we made some poor decisions with the basketball. If we don’t do that, it’s a different game that first half. Second half, I don’t know what the stats were, but I know that it was a competitive game.”

The Pirates outscored the Freddies 17-7 in the first quarter and 24-2 in the second quarter.

“I told my players that it’s interesting because last year they beat us by a lot more, so we closed the gap a little bit,” said Coach Maceyko. “There are a lot of games on the schedule that we can be competitive in. Cardington is an elite team compared to most. They have a lot of depth and ability. So my speech to my team was simply that we have a lot of winnable games. We’re 1-1. We could easily be 3-1, 4-1, 5-1 if we just start cleaning up these turnovers and start doing some good things.

“We shot the ball well there in the second half. We never give up. Last year was a tough year; only won two games my first year in. They never gave up last year, though, either.”

The third quarter was a different story as the Freddies got their offense going and nearly outscored the Pirates, 13-12. Maceyko is hoping that is something good his squad can take from Wednesday’s game.

“I really think they felt like they could be competitive. When it didn’t go their way the first half it was a little bit of a let down there for a little run, but in the second half they calmed down,” he said. “We settled down, we came out, and we did a much better job. That reflects who they are. They don’t give up. They still go hard and they finish strong.”

The top scorer for Fredericktown was Olivia Mast with nine points on three triples. Gabby Daniels added four points and Haylee Hulse and Jacklyn Nussbaum both sank a 3-pointer.

The top scorer for Cardington was Casey Bertke with a game-leading 17 points. Dana Bertke added 11 points, while Hannah Wickline had nine.

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Cody Strawser: 740-397-5333 or cody@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews