IRONTON – The Fredericktown boys basketball team is hoping to turn the corner with an experienced group after collecting just 19 victories over the last five seasons.
Although the Blackcats struggled to close out Arcadia Valley down the stretch on Tuesday night, they were able to take a positive step forward by winning their season opener.
Senior forward Logan Winkelman scored 17 points, and Fredericktown overcame 20 turnovers to prevail 67-63 during opening-round action Tuesday night in the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament.
Dylan St. Clair provided a massive third quarter, netting all 15 of his points within a seven-minute span, and the Blackcats (1-0) advanced to face top seed South Iron in the semifinal round on Wednesday.
Arcadia Valley carried a 31-30 lead into halftime when sophomore Andrew Tedford drilled a corner 3-pointer as time expired after Winkelman had picked up his third personal foul.
But the Tigers missed their first five shots of the third quarter, and St. Clair attacked the rim repeatedly for layups after starting the period with a go-ahead triple.
Grant Shankle extended the Fredericktown lead to 50-41 with another 3-pointer, even as foul trouble piled up quickly against the Blackcats.
Reserve forward Seth Laut fouled out on rebound battle and subsequent technical with 1:04 remaining in the third, but AV failed to convert any of the resulting free throws.
That theme would continue until the finish as the Tigers shot just 7-of-21 from the line in their season opener.
St. Clair hit another driving layup to create the largest separation of the night at 55-43 heading into the fourth after Clark Penuel connected from long range and drew an ensuing charging foul.
Sophomore guard Carter Brogan compiled 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and nearly rallied Arcadia Valley all the way back from its 12-point deficit.
He finished a fake and baseline leaner before picking up a second-chance basket off a rebound by Daniel Horn. Brogan went on to drill three 3-pointers in the closing minutes.
Nate Miller sank a huge triple while drawing contact after the Fredericktown edge had been trimmed to 58-55 by Brogan with three minutes left.
Brogan hit from the deep left wing with 9.9 seconds left to make it 66-63, and the Tigers were gifted a chance to possibly draw even after the Blackcats committed a traveling violation.
Arcadia Valley handed that opportunity away, however, due to a 5-second call on the sideline inbounds play. Shankle split two free throws from there to ice the game, and finished with 12 points.
Miller had nine points, and Noah Korokis grabbed six rebounds for the Blackcats, who earned three second-chance field goals in the first quarter.
Brogan tallied seven early points, including a smooth pull-up jumper near the foul line, but was kept off the scoreboard over the next 15 minutes before heating up again.
Arcadia Valley jumped ahead 12-4, but its 8-0 run was promptly matched after Winkelman and Shankle drove end to end to eventually square the contest at 12-12.
Fredericktown extended its solid play to build a 26-16 advantage after Winkelman finished another drive and Penuel scored with a turning move in the post.
Arcadia Valley capped the first half on a 15-4 spurt, getting key 3-pointers from Logan Pannebecker and Luke Savage along the way. The Tigers ended with 17 turnovers.
Taylon Jones scored nine points while Stephen Pursley and Savage chipped in eight each for the Tigers, who will face Bismarck in the consolation bracket.