Girls: Annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Basketball Classic today

Usually, Dan Liedtke is not one to volunteer his coaching services for all-star basketball games.

Several years ago, he made a rare appearance as the head coach for the Ohio boys squad in the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Basketball Classic.

And with three of his senior girls selected to this year’s version of the BACF all-star game, the Fort Frye coach decided to give it another try. This time as an assistant to River’s Rick Isaly.

Today’s tipoff for the girls game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Parkersburg South High School’s Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

Representing the Cadets are Division III third-team all-stater and Ohio team captain Deidra Combs, along with honorable mention all-stater Morgan Liedtke and Micayla Hupp.

“I’m going to be one proud coach having those players again,” coach Liedtke said.

Combs led the Cadets with an 11.2 scoring average and finished with 100 steals. She is planning to attend Fairmont State University.

“Deidra was always our No. 1 defender,” coach Liedtke said. “She always had the tough assignments.

“Offensively, she could get a lot of rebounds and could shoot inside or outside with the 3-pointer. She is a very versatile player.”

Liedtke’s daughter, Morgan, played several roles, including point guard and averaged 10.3 points. From 3-point range, she was accurate 46 percent of the time and finished with 72 makes from beyond the arc.

“She had the job of getting the ball through teams trying to press us full court,” her father said. “Then she had to get our offense started and shoot as well. She was like the mold of the team because she made a lot of things stay on track.”

As a post player, Hupp averaged 6.8 points. She did most of her damage from 10 feet and closer.

“Micayla was a lefty with nice moves – she was able to get her shots off very quick,” coach Liedtke said.

Liedtke and Isaly saw quite a bit of each other during the season. They split their two regular season meetings, but Fort Frye defeated River 46-22 in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference’s Class 3A championship game.

River closed out the season 18-7 after losing to eventual state runner-up Berlin Hiland in the district semifinal for the second straight year.

Fort Frye, on the other hand, wrapped up a 25-4 season by reaching the semifinals of the state tournament.

“I know my daughter was down about not winning,” coach Liedtke said. “But I told her to reflect on the West Muskingum game (in the district championship) where we were down by 17 points, and how we came out of that.”

River’s contingent for the BACF Basketball Classic features Cassidy McCullough and Emile Weaver. McCullough earned second team All-OVAC honors and is the defending state champion in the 300 hurdles.

As a four-year letterwinner in basketball, McCullough has elected to attend West Virginia Wesleyan and pursue a career in track and field.

“Cassidy is just a competitor and works hard every day in practice,” Isaly said. “This year, she guarded the best player on the other team most every game. I never had to take her out – she had strength and endurance.”

Weaver’s status for the BACF game was uncertain. She earned three letters as a member of the basketball team.

“She didn’t score much, but she played good defense,” Isaly said.

Rounding out the Ohio squad are Frontier’s Laken Camino; Marietta’s Kaitlyn Cozzens and Alexis Walsh; Ironton’s Alicia Murphy and Ariel Schwieckart; Warren’s Amy Fleming, Jordanna Rauch and MacKenzie Ullman; and Fairland’s Kayla Swiger.

“This will be fun – hopefully I will learn something from Dan,” Isaly said. “We will try to play up-tempo, and get up and down the floor. For most of the girls, this is their last high school game and I want all of them to have fun.”