Prep boys basketball: Cadets roll Noles

BEVERLY – Two top-tier Pioneer Valley Conference teams squared off Wednesday night at Fort Frye High School, and it was the Cadets who prevailed 77-57 over the Monroe Central Seminoles. The victory upped the Cadets record to 9-5 overall and 6-3 in the league. The Seminoles fell to 10-4 overall and 6-2 in the PVC.

Fort Frye was able to pick apart Monroe Central’s defense by cutting to the basket and getting easy looks en route to shooting 33-for-57 (58 percent) from the floor. Seth Legraen posted a game-high 24 points.

“I think what was working for us was our cuts to the basket,” Legraen said. “We hit a lot of layups. We didn’t really have to rely on 3s tonight. Just getting to the hole, getting to the line and getting back on defense.”

“Seth is really good at finding an opening on the backside,” said Fort Frye head coach Eric Henniger. “He knows when his man is turning his head and he’s gonna get open.”

Shon Smith also had a big night with 21 points and six assists. Chandler Lang added 13 points.

The Seminoles were paced by Cameron Jorris, who had 18 points on six 3-pointers. Korey Lafferre chipped in with 13 points and a game-high eight boards.

Against a team like Monroe Central, which likes to run on offense, it was important for the Cadets to hustle back on the defensive end.

“It all boils down to defense and getting back,” Henniger said. “Monroe Central is a team that likes to run, run and run. We knew our gameplan going in was we didn’t want to run. It’s real easy to fall into that trap, and we did that a couple times. I had to keep reminding the guys ‘That’s not us.’ We stuck to our gameplan, got back on defense and made them run a half court set offense. I think that was the key for our players.”

Back-to-back layups by Caden Brooker and Legraen, followed by a 3-pointer by Dominic Omspach, put the Cadets up 19-8 at the end of the first quarter.

A floater by Lafferre and a trey by Jorris cut it to 19-13 to open the second quarter. After a Legraen putback, Lafferre and Jorris struck again for five more points to make the score 21-18. Legraen hit another layup but Lafferre responded with a layup and one to get within two points at 23-21. Six consecutive points from Smith and Tyler Norris stretched it to 29-21.

Fort Frye would go into halftime up 40-30.

Jordan Anderson opened the second half with a bucket followed by consecutive 2-pointers from Kordell Antill to make it 42-34. A layup by Levi Brown and another 3-ball from Jorris cut it to 44-40. Antill made his third basket of the quarter to make it 44-42 before Smith converted a three-point play.

Later, a Jorris 3-pointer brought Monroe Central as close as it would get to the Cadets at 47-46. Consecutive baskets by Brooker and a 3-pointer from Lang capped the quarter with Fort Frye on top 56-46.

The Cadets would continue to pull away in the fourth, highlighted by a fastbreak dunk from Legraen and a 3-pointer from Logan Madison to seal the deal. “We knew coming into tonight we were going to play a really good team,” Henniger said. “Coach (Lou) Tolzda is a great coach and he has (the Seminoles) buying into a system.”

Fort Frye, now 7-0 at home, will host league-leading River Friday night in another key conference showdown. “This is a huge win,” Legraen said of defeating the Seminoles. “We’ve got River Friday, so if we can beat them, we’re in pretty good shape.”