DANVILLE — Fredericktown likes to play uptempo. The Freddies want to pressure opponents for 70 feet, forcing them to play faster and hopefully, getting some easy buckets in the process.
Friday night, that philosophy worked like a charm.
The Freddies forced Danville into turning the ball over 13 times in the first half and jumped out to a huge lead they would never relinquish, winning the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference boys basketball game at Danville, 75-50.
“It was definitely a point of emphasis tonight. We wanted to sit down defend in the halfcourt and get after it. We wanted to make these guys play fast,” said Fredericktown coach Derek Dibling. “We’re definitely at our best when we get up and down the court.”
The Freddies (9-8 overall, 7-4 KMAC) came out smoking, scoring the first 10 points of the game and forcing Danville into five quick turnovers. Lincoln Cunningham led that charge, getting nine points in the opening two-and-a-half minutes.
Danville (1-16, 0-11) figured it out, though, finally breaking through the press and getting some buckets. The Devils scored the next eight points to close the gap.
From there, though, it became all Fredericktown.
The Freddies outscored Danville 32-10 in the last 10 minutes of the half to break the game wide open.
“Their full-court pressure really hurt us,” said Danville coach Matt Moore. “They controlled the tempo. We want to slow things down and they want to push and get easy shots. They executed very well.”
Cunningham ended the first half with 21 points as the Freddies headed to the locker room up 41-18.
An 8-0 run to begin the second half all but ended it and the Freddies were able to empty their bench in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve had a few times this year where we’ve let teams crawl back into it. We’ve not done a good job of maintaining things,” Dibling said. “We had some more consistency throughout the game tonight, being able to get stops when you need to get stops, regardless of the score.”
Cunningham finished the night with 28 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals to lead the Freddies. Terry Fearn added 12 points and three steals, while Caleb Sheriff checked in with 10 points and seven rebounds, and Mason Finnell had seven points. Ty Hatfield hit two 3-pointers en route to six points and also handed out six assists.
Danville was led by Darren Mickley, who scored 20 points on five 3-pointers and had two steals. Hunter Elliott added eight points, three assists and two steals, while Max Payne had eight points. Aaron Mezie hauled in a team-high nine boards.
“We still continued to play hard and kept up our intensity,” Moore said. “I thought we had a good week of practice. We just have to continue it and go forward from here.”
The Freddies are back in action tonight, hosting Newark Catholic. Danville plays Tuesday at home against Northmor.
Fredericktown also cruised to a victory in the jayvee game, beating the Blue Devils, 52-28.
Kaid Carpenter led the Freddies with 18 points, while Xavier Mullins had eight.
Danville was led by Spencer Payne, who scored 11 points, and Dustin Beckett, who had seven.
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