Fairland girls, boys sweep Gallia
ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Fairland beat Gallia Academy and caught Coal Grove.
Fairland (16-4, 11-2 Ohio Valley Conference) scored a 49-22 girls basketball victory Tuesday against Gallia Academy in the Carl York Center. The victory pulled Fairland into a first-place tie with Coal Grove atop the league with one game to play.
Coal Grove entertains South Point at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Fairland plays host to Rock Hill at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
After the Tuesday game, Dragons coach Jon Buchanan’s thoughts squarely were on the next game. “We have a big game on Thursday because it’s a chance to win the league championship,” Buchanan said. “Our kids know that. I hope we come out with more emotion and rock and roll.”
Fairland trailed by one twice in the opening minutes, but never was in danger of losing. The Dragons used a 12-0 first half run to take control on their way to a 25-11 halftime lead. The Blue Angels (6-14, 2-11) failed to make consecutive baskets in the first half and did so just once in the game.
Gallia Academy has no answer for Allie Marshall, Fairland’s 6-foot all-stater who signed with Cedarville University. Marshall scored 14 and grabbed 13 rebounds. Her sister, Emma Marshall, scored eight. Kelsie Warnock, who is to sign with Marietta College on Wednesday, scored eight and pulled down seven rebounds.
Maddy Petro led the Blue Angels with seven points, but picked up two fouls early in the first quarter, limiting Gallia Academy’s attack.
“That was big Petro getting her second foul early,” Buchanan said. “That and Allie had a good start. Then our guards (Britney Thompson, Jenna Stone and Emma Marshall) played well.”
The veteran coach said his team was workmanlike and took care of business coming off Monday’s triumph over Chesapeake.
GALLIA ACADEMY 4 7 4 7 — 22: Hill 6, Cremeens 2, Petro 7, Reed 2, Truance 5.
FAIRLAND 12 13 13 11 — 49: E. Marshall 8, Roland 5, A. Marshall 14, King 2, Warnock 8, Thompson 3, Stone 5, Howard 2, Orsbon 2.
FAIRLAND 37, GALLIA ACADEMY 31: When Gavin Hunt launched a desperation 3-pointer from beyond half court and swished it at the buzzer, everyone knew it was Fairland’s night.
The Dragons moved one step closer to their fourth consecutive Ohio Valley Conference title Tuesday, defeating Gallia Academy, 37-31, in the second part of a doubleheader.
Little did Hunt know how important that shot would be. Gallia Academy (10-8, 6-5 OVC) cut a 13-point second-half deficit to one after Cory Call’s basket off a drive made it 28-27 with 1:53 to play.
The Dragons (16-4, 10-1) responded with a basket by Jacob Polcyn, a free throw by Clayton Thomas and two foul shots by Matt Mondlak to go up 33-27 with 33 seconds left. Caleb Henry made a shot to pull the Blue Devils within 33-29 with 26 seconds to play, but Ian Chinn and Thomas made two free throws each to render Henry’s basket at the buzzer meaningless.
“We had a good defensive effort tonight, a consistently good defensive effort,” Fairland coach Nathan Speed said.
Polcyn led the Dragons with 14 points and six rebounds. Thomas scored nine, despite suffering an arm injury in the first minute of the contest.
Call paced Gallia Academy with 10 points.
The Blue Devils, who didn’t score in the first quarter, improved from their 25-point loss to the Dragons at home earlier this season.
Fairland returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home vs. Chesapeake. The Dragons hold a two-game lead in the OVC with three conference games to play.
GALLIA ACADEMY 0 9 4 18 — 31: Henry 6, McClelland 8, Carter 7, Call 10.
FAIRLAND 7 13 4 13 — 37: Polcyn 14, Porter 3, Hunt 3, Mondlak 6, Chinn 2, Thomas 9.