CENTERBURG, Ohio -- In a battle between the top two teams in the KMAC, the Centerburg Trojans (9-1, 7-0) took over sole possession of first place in a 62-58 win over the Fredericktown Freddies (14-1, 9-1). The three-ball was falling all night, as the two teams combined for 23 made threes in the game.
Senior Carter Jones started the game playing some of his best basketball all year, scoring or assisting on every basket for the Trojans in the opening quarter. Senior Caleb Sheriff kept the game close for Fredericktown with seven of the Freddies nine points in the frame, trailing by four after the opening eight minutes.
The Freddies had trouble finding a secondary scorer, with Sheriff scoring 15 of their 20 first half points. However, senior Thomas Caputo came up with a pair of crucial steals in the second quarter for Fredericktown to keep the game in reach. A critical 6-0 Trojan run in the middle of the quarter led by Jones, extended the Trojans lead to 29-20 heading into halftime.
There were a combined eight three pointers in the third quarter, started off by senior Ty Hatfield of Fredericktown with one and junior Landon Griffith of Centerburg with two. Then, Caputo finished strong at the basket to convert on an and-one.
Fredericktown cut the lead to just three at 44-41 by the close of the quarter, due in large part to the fact that they held Jones, the Trojans 1,000-point scorer, to just two points in the opening eight minutes of the second half.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Trojans went on a 6-0 run led by Jones and junior Mick Mead. The Freddies weren’t going down without a fight, as they answered the Trojans' run with a 9-0 run of their own to tie the game at 50 with 4:20 left.
With under two minutes left in the game, both teams traded a pair of triples, with two of them coming from senior Lincoln Cunningham. However, clutch free throw shooting by Jones and Mead were too much to overcome.
The Trojans were led by Jones with a 21 point and 13 rebound double double, while Mead chipped in 14 points. Griffith also added 12 points.
The Freddies were led by Sheriff with a game high 24 points, while Cunningham pitched in 13 points and a game high five assists.
Both teams are back in action against KMAC opponents on Friday. Fredericktown is hosting Danville (1-12), while Centerburg goes on the road to take on East Knox (7-6).
Caleb Sheriff (5’10 WG / Fredericktown / 2021): The Freddies came into this game undefeated on the strength of their balanced attack, with four players averaging double figures. With points being tough to come by in the first half, Sheriff took over scoring 15 of the teams 20 first half points. The sharpshooter had it dialed in from deep, hitting five threes on his way to a game-high 24 points. He is a complete guard showing the ability to pressure opposing guards and also going in with the bigs to pull down a team high six rebounds. In a game that had 23 made three’s, Sheriff was the most impressive shooter in the gym.
Carter Jones (6'5 WF / Centerburg / 2021): The Mount Vernon Nazarene commit was as good as advertised. In a game that was eventually decided from long range, the Trojans big man dominated the paint. He scored 11 straight points for Centerburg during the first half to lead his team to a big early lead. He uses his strong frame to score through contact. The senior is an elite rebounder, gabbing a game high 13 boards to go along with his 21 points. He is surrounded by shooters, which make him a very difficult one on one matchup. As the only senior on the team, Jones looks focused and ready to lead his team to a league title.
Mick Mead (6’0 PG / Centerburg / 2022): The floor leader for the Trojans came up big in crucial moments on Tuesday. He seemed to do whatever Centerburg needed from him at the time to hold off the previously unbeaten Freddies. His ability to get where he needs to go off the dribble creates a lot of opportunities for himself and teammates. The junior point guard showed the ability to score at all levels. He showed good instincts to create separation while attacking the rim, where he was able to finish through traffic. Mead, like most of his team, is a good catch and shoot three point shooter, dropping two on the night.