Freeport girls basketball runs away with win over Apollo-Ridge

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Monday, December 11, 2017 | 11:15 PM


With a little more than three minutes elapsed in Monday's nonsection girls basketball game, Freeport had 16 points on its side of the scoreboard.

Apollo-Ridge had zero.

The Yellowjackets grabbed momentum from the opening tip, forcing several Vikings turnovers and converting them into a double-digit advantage.

Freeport didn't look back after that and finished off a 60-42 victory,

“I told the girls to come out and be disciplined,” Freeport coach Fred Soilis said. “They did what I asked, and good things came as a result. It was huge to get that lead.”

Monday's win came on the heels of tough losses to South Fayette and Keystone Oaks over the weekend at the season-opening South Fayette tournament.

“This was a huge confidence builder for us,” Soilis said. “Apollo-Ridge is no slouch. They have some really talented players.”

Freeport brought pressure early, and it caused seven Vikings turnovers. The Yellowjackets turned six of the turnovers into points. Sophomore Samantha Clark had six of her team-high 17 points during the opening run.

Junior Jenna Manke, who finished with 15 points, added a layup and foul shot, sophomore Madeline Clark made a 3-pointer and put in a layup and Sidney Shemanski had a field goal.

“We just learned that press (defense) the other day, and we weren't used to it, but we're pretty happy how well it worked,” said Manke, who added five rebounds against the inside presence of Vikings 6-foot-2 senior Megan Ost and 6-2 freshman Madison Marks.

Apollo-Ridge (2-1) stopped the bleeding as freshman Morgan Gamble hit a field goal to make it 16-2 with 4:19 on the first-quarter clock. Freeport led 21-7 at the end of the opening quarter.

“I could tell by our demeanor when we got off the bus that we weren't ready to play,” Apollo-Ridge coach Jim Callipare said.

“Hats off to Freeport. They jumped all over us and capitalized on our mistakes. We obviously had too many turnovers.”

Apollo-Ridge had 11 turnovers in the first quarter and 15 by halftime. Freeport turned the ball over just two times in the first half.

Foul trouble also hurt Apollo-Ridge. Ost collected her third foul with 2:22 left in the first quarter. She exited the game for a brief time but played most of the second quarter with those three fouls.

Junior Maddy Moore, who finished with a team-best 17 points to go with five blocks, picked up her third foul early in the third quarter as the Vikings tried to fight back from a 30-16 halftime deficit.

“We got them into foul trouble, and that hurt them,” Soilis said. “At the same time, we shot well from the line. We need to be able to get points with the clock stopped.”

Freeport finished the game 17 of 22 from the free-throw line. The Yellowjackets went to the line for nine free throws in the first quarter and were successful on eight of them.

Samantha Clark hit a 3-pointer, and Shemanski added a jumper and a foul shot as Freeport extended its lead to 36-16 with 6:03 left in the third and essentially quelled any hopes Apollo-Ridge had of a comeback. The Yellowjackets led 48-23 heading into the fourth quarter.

Shemanski and Madeline Clark finished with nine points each for Freeport.

Ost, who averaged 17.5 points in wins over Valley and Ellwood City at the Springdale tournament over the weekend, finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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