Demitri Fritch registers triple-double in Springdale OT thriller over Sto-Rox

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | 11:42 PM

Springdale junior Demitri Fritch had a game for the ages as he registered a triple-double in a thrilling 86-85 overtime victory over No. 2 ranked Sto-Rox.

The win keeps the Dynamos undefeated at 6-0 overall and now 2-0 in Section 1-2A.

“I’ve told everyone he’s one of the top five,” Springdale coach Aaron Epps said of his star guard. “If you can name me five players better than him, I’d like to see it.

Fritch ended up with a career high 42 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists while playing most of the second half and overtime in four trouble.

“This is huge,” Fritch said. “Sto (Rox) is one of the best teams in our conference. Big win at home, we need those.”

Early on, it looked like it would be a rout at home as Springdale couldn’t miss and Sto-Rox couldn’t hit a shot. Midway through the first quarter, Springdale led 18-0.

The visiting Vikings never blinked and started chipping away at the big deficit with a half-court trap defense that forced Springdale into some turnovers and led directly to some easy buckets for Sto-Rox, as they trailed by only 21-14 by the end of the frenzied first quarter.

The momentum stayed on the Sto-Rox side for most of the second quarter as the Vikings got great minutes off the bench from senior Eric Wilson and junior Devontae Givens as the teams went to the locker room tied at 34-34.

The Vikings took their first lead of the game at the 6:50 mark of the third quarter, 38-37, on a Coreyn Simmons layup.

But Springdale did not cave under pressure and went on a 9-0 run to take an eight-point lead.

“I think the mistake that some teams make against Sto is that they think they can’t run with them,” Epps said. “We can run with anybody, so we’re not going to change how we play.”

While Fritch did most of the damage on offense for the Dynamos, junior Ben Myford hit some big 3-pointers in the first half and sophomore Ryan Reinsfelder found his stroke behind the arc in the second half.

At times, the fourth quarter became a game of one-on-one with Fritch for Springdale and senior Jamal Williams taking over as they drove the paint and came away with two points time and time again.

Springdale had a chance to win it in regulation, but Reinsfelder missed two 3-pointers in the closing seconds as the fourth quarter ended with the game tied at 75-75.

Sto-Rox built a rare two-possession lead early in overtime when they went up 79-75. The Vikings led for most of OT until the Dynamos tied the game at 85 apiece.

In the waning seconds, Springdale freshman guard Chris Mitchell picked up a loose ball and was fouled in the backcourt with 5.9 seconds left.

After missing badly on the first free throw, Mitchell sank the second shot, which turned out to be the game winner. Sto-Rox never got a shot off in the final seconds and Springdale celebrated a huge win for the program.

“He was definitely nervous,” Fritch said of Mitchell shooting free throws with the game on the line. “I would have been nervous. When he missed that first one, I wanted to say something, but I didn’t want to get in his head, so I gave him a high five and just let him shoot.”

Besides Fritch’s 42 points, Springdale had three other players in double digit scoring with Reinsfelder adding 15 points, Myford 14 and sophomore Logan Dexter 12.

Sto-Rox (1-1, 2-3) had a balanced attack with senior A.J. Nelson leading the way with 18 points. Jamal Williams and Davontae Johnson off the bench each had 16 points with Jamil Johnson scoring 15.

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