Holding Ouachita Christian to two fourth quarter points, St. Frederick carved out a 40-29 District 2-1A victory Friday night at Marsh Gym.
It wasn’t necessarily easy on the eyes, but in the end, St. Fred coach Terry Waldrop welcomed the result.
“This was our fourth game in eight days — three of them to some of the the top teams in the state at our level,” said Waldrop, whose team bounced back from consecutive losses to Oak Grove, Tensas and Delhi. “We didn’t play as well as we would have liked. I’m not saying fatigue was a factor, but it didn’t help. We made some defensive mistakes, and OCS did a good job of exploiting it."
Mack Jones’ 3-pointer behind a pick from Ethan Dement gave the Eagles their only lead, 5-4.
St. Fred regained the advantage for good on a bucket by Pat Johnson. Four straight points by Seth Brown on a pair of free throws and a tip-in capped a 6-0 spurt with the Warriors in front, 10-5. Cole Bryan’s 3-pointer brought the Eagles within 10-8 at the end of the frame.
OCS climbed within 14-13 on a Jones 3-ball from the left wing before the Warriors upped the margin to 21-16 at the break.
Fueled by a 4-point possession — Denterrius McHenry’s free throw and Pat Johnson’s trey — the Warriors opened up a 27-18 bulge midway through quarter number three.
St. Fred’s lead soon swelled to 10, 30-20, with the help of McHenry’s deuce from point-blank range off of a perfectly-placed bounced pass from Brown.
OCS stormed back to within 30-27 by the end of the quarter. Casey Cobb scored from underneath, Dement drove to the rack, and Jones completed a three-point play to highlight a 7-0 run. However, the Eagles’ offense went AWOL from there, with only two free throws to show for the final nine-plus minutes.
Landon Graves made the front end of a shooting foul to make it 30-28 with 7:09 to play. OCS would not score again until Jones wrapped up the on a free throw with 29 seconds on the clock.
Meanwhile, the Warriors were held scoreless on their first six possessions of the final quarter before taking charge down the stretch. Johnson’s steal and layup, Jackson Butler’s tightly-guarded short-turnaround and Johnson’s breakaway slam dunk put St. Fred in command 36-28 with 2:29 remaining.
Brown’s transition layup and Butler’s bucket off a McHenry bounce pass put the game out of reach, 40-28.
"We weren't able to get any distance until the fourth quarter," Waldrop said. "It's just a grind right now."
OCS went 0-for-11 from the floor — 0-for-5 from beyond the arc — and 2-of-7 from the free throw stripe in the fourth quarter.
St. Fred received scoring contributions from only four players. Johnson showed the way with 14 points, followed by McHenry with 12, Brown with nine and Butler with five.
Jones was a bright spot offensively for OCS with 13 points, including a trio of 3s. No other Eagle scored more than six points.
Both teams complete the first round of conference play Tuesday night. St. Fred (17-4, 3-3) travels to Sicily Island, while the Eagles (6-13, 2-4) start a three-game homestand against Tensas.
OCS ….…… 8 8 11 2—29
St. Fred … 10 11 9 10—40
OUACHITA CHRISTIAN (6-13, 2-4) — Mack Jones 13, Ethan Dement 6, Cole Bryan 3, Landon Graves 3, Aidan Ham 2, Casey Cobb 2.
ST. FREDERICK (17-4, 3-3) — Pat Johnson 14, Denterrius McHenry 12, Seth Brown 9, Jackson Butler 5.
Three-point goals — Ouachita Christian 4 (Jones 3, Bryan 1), St. Frederick 1 (Johnson). Total fouls — Ouachita Christian 13, St. Frederick 12. Free throw shooting — Ouachita Christian 9-18, St. Frederick 5-11. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.