0

Frerking delivers in final quarter of state title run

MACON -- While his point totals were solid over the first game and three quarters of the Class A Final Four, perimeter shooting had proven to be somewhat of a nightmare for Wesleyan's Andrew Frerking.

But in the fourth quarter of Saturday's championship game at the Macon Centreplex, the 6-foot-3 junior wing found his touch.

He hit four 3-pointers on his way to 16 of his game-high 26 points to help the Wolves capture their second state championship in the last three season with a 63-52 win over defending champion Whitefield.

Frerking had 10 points after three quarters in helping the Wolves (26-6) to a 38-29 lead, but had made just two of his first seven attempts from beyond the arc.

And the prospect of looking at the basket on the east end of the Centreplex didn't help.

"I'd had trouble with that goal (in Wednesday's semifinal win over Wilcox County)," Frerking said. "But my teammates kept feeding me and told me to keep shooting."

Wesleyan coach Skip Matherly certainly wasn't going to discourage him.

"It's taken me a lot of years, but as a coach, I've finally learned that a shooter will go 0-for-10 and say, 'It's OK coach, I'll make the next 10,'" Matherly said. "I have to learn to live with that. He pretty much kept getting his shot, and once he got in a rhythm, just watch."

Whitefield could only watch as Frerking finally got a shot to go down from the left corner with 7:05 to play, which pushed Wesleyan's lead to 41-31.

He would go on to hit three more 3-pointers in the quarter, including two more from the same spot as the first over the next 1:32 as the Wolves built its biggest lead at 47-34 after the last one with 5:33 left.

More importantly, it gave the Wolves a huge emotional lift after starting point guard Wes Caver fouled out less than a minute later.

"It was huge because it was right around the time Wes fouled out," Matherly said of Frerking's surge. "When he hit those shots, I think the other kids looked at each other and said, 'We're OK. We can find a way to do this.'"

If those shots didn't accomplish that feat, his play with 2:52 left did.

With Whitefield having pulled to within 51-45 and threatening to pull even closer, Frerking pulled down a defensive rebound and charged the length of the court for a layup that stretched the lead back to 53-45.

"When they (Whitefield) press like they do and you see a little space, you want to go for it," Frerking said.

"I just pushed it down and I was lucky to convert."