FREDERICKTOWN – The Cardington Pirates had already clinched their second straight Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference championship. The winless Fredericktown Freddies weren’t likely to break their losing streak.

But Saturday’s game became one of the most meaningful in the history of both programs.

Allie Maceyko

Members of the Cardington and Fredericktown girls basketball teams gather on the court before Saturday's game to honor Allie Maceyko, a 2018 Cardington graduate who is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Cardington won, 93-34. But the real winner – and the reason two communities came together – didn’t play.

Fredericktown coach Tim Maceyko’s daughter, Allie, is fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And fans of the two teams were there to show their support.

“It’s really special when you see two communities come together like that,” coach Maceyko said. “It was about people supporting one another, and that’s real special. It’s important for my daughter to feel like that right now.”

Allie Maceyko is a 2018 graduate of Cardington High School. She played varsity for three years, averaging 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. She was ranked in the KMAC top 10 in blocks last season.

She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma late last year, but she announced it to the public in early January. The disease is a form of cancer that comes from specific white blood cells. Like most cancers, it requires aggressive treatment, including chemotherapy, which Allie began Friday.

Coaches and players on both sides wore “Allie’s Team” T-shirts during warm-ups Saturday. Extra T-shirts were available for sale, with all proceeds going to Allie’s medical care. Also, volunteers collected donations at the door.

Those who donated gave more than money. They also gave their prayers and support. The players from both sides collected special treats as well for Allie.

“They brought her care packages. They gave her a hat because of her chemo treatments,” coach Maceyko said. “They’ve all been so supportive. She’s just out of high school, so she’s one of them. It’s really been special to see them support her.”

It was fitting that one of Allie’s best friends, Kynlee Edwards, reached a landmark during the game. Edwards recorded her 386th career steal in the second half, establishing a new Cardington career record. After being presented with the game ball during the ensuing timeout, Edwards responded on the next play – with another steal.

Kynlee Edwards

Cardington's Kynlee Edwards, left, steals the ball from Fredericktown's Jackyln Nussbaum during the second half of Saturday's game. The steal was Edwards' 386th of her career, establishing a new school record. The Pirates won, 93-34.

“Steals have always been like a thing for me,” Edwards explained. “I always want to be on the ball. I’m blessed to have a good team behind me to help me get it.”

It wasn’t the only record broken by Edwards that day, as she became the first Pirate to hit six 3-pointers in a game – all in the first half.

Edwards has been one of Maceyko’s biggest supporters since the diagnosis. The pair played together for three years and are very close according to Edwards.

“It (stinks) that she has to go through this. But, she has such a good family behind her at Fredericktown and Cardington,” Edwards said. “I’ve played with her since my freshman year. We call each other Big Sister and Little Sister.”

For a little while, the Fredericktown fans were in for a treat.

Despite an early eight-point deficit, the Freddies (0-15, 0-12 KMAC) rallied behind a pair of 3-pointers from Olivia Mast as well as buckets from Summer Weller and Haylee Hulse to narrow the gap to 18-13 by the end of the first quarter.

However, an 18-2 Cardington run to begin the second quarter ended any thoughts of a big upset.

Mast finished with 12 points to lead Fredericktown. Summer Weller scored seven points, Haylee Hulse came off the bench to score six, and Jackyln Nussbaum put up five.

Edwards and Casey Bertke each scored 23 points to pace Cardington (15-1, 12-0). Bertke had a spectacular third quarter, scoring 15 points, grabbing eight rebounds and getting two steals.

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