Freeport knocks off Jeannette
All hail the king.
Despite graduating several of its leading scorers from last season's Section 1-AA championship team, Freeport proved it is not quite ready to give up its title.
Behind eight three-point field goals and a feisty defensive effort, Freeport won its 18th consecutive Section 1-AA contest by defeating Jeannette 66-61 at Jeannette Middle School.
"Freeport played a great game tonight," Jeannette head coach Rick Klimchock stated. "They've really put us behind the eight ball in the section race."
Trailing 40-33 with five minutes left in the third quarter, Freeport went on a 15-4 run behind three three-point field goals to take a 48-44 lead with 7:50 left in the game.
"Each of our players takes 50 three-point shots every day," first-year Freeport head coach Mike Beale said. "We take a lot of pride in our shooting."
Jeannette battled back on the strength of their interior play — two offensive rebounds and two layups — to take a 52-50 lead with 5:14 left to play.
"We forced the ball a little too much into the post at times," Klimchock said. "We turned the ball over way too much, and we never seemed to get in sync offensively."
In a game that saw eight ties and four lead changes, Freeport (4-3, 3-0) answered right back with a 9-0 run of its own. Calvin Carter connected on a 15-foot jumper to tie the game, Dave Bauman nailed one of his four three pointers to take the lead, and Carter and Brent Ferko each made layups to give Freeport a 59-52 lead that it would never relinquish.
"We told our kids that the game would be about momentum and who could put a run together," Beale said. "Our kids did a good job of keeping their composure throughout the game."
Freeport, which won its fourth consecutive game, was led in scoring by Carter with 18 points, including three 3-point field goals, Bauman with 15 points and Cory Weibel with 14 points. The Yellow Jackets also received a solid effort from point guard Luke Westerman, who dished out eight assists.
Jeannette (10-2, 3-1) received 14 points apiece from Donnie Binda and Ste-Von Daye, as well as 11 points from Mike Dent. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Jayhawks.
"We have a really young team," Klimchock said, pointing out that his team has only one senior on the roster, "and tonight, it showed at times."
Both teams will return to action after Christmas as Freeport will host their own Holiday tournament, while Jeannette will take on Quad A foe Trinity in the first round of the Greensburg Salem tournament.