Dragons beat short-handed Pointers 67-42
ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Usually, the losing team talks about a rematch, but the winning Fairland Dragons said they know next week’s game at South Point likely will be more difficult than was Monday’s.
Fairland (9-3 overall, 6-1 Ohio Valley Conference) defeated South Point 67-42 in girls high school basketball at the Carl York Center. The Dragons took advantage of a Pointers squad playing without second-leading scorer Emilee Carey, who missed the game because of a death in her family.
Whether Carey would have made a 25-point difference is debatable, but Fairland players and coaches said they expect the Pointers (9-3, 5-2) to be a different team when they play Jan. 24 at South Point.
“We were excited for this game,” said Dragons’ senior guard Britney Thompson, who scored 11 points, all in the second quarter when Fairland erased a one-point deficit to take a 31-22 lead into halftime.“We expected Emilee Carey to play and we know that she is a really good player. Next Thursday will be even tougher.”
Dragons coach Jon Buchanan said he was impressed with the Pointers, even without Carey.
“They played a good first half, especially without the Carey kid,” Buchanan said. “She’s seriously good. They played really well. Maddie Khounlavong made some threes and Emilee Whitt is instant offense. It will be a little more of a fair fight next Thursday.”
Fairland, which won its sixth consecutive game to move into a first-place tie with Coal Grove in the OVC, took control in the second period. With South Point double teaming all-stater Allie Marshall inside, Thompson and Emma Marshall stepped up from the perimeter. Emma Marshall, Allie’s younger sister, swished two 3-point shots in the quarter, including one 2:24 before halftime to give the Dragons a 22-20 lead they never relinquished.
Thompson followed with five points and Kelsie Warnock four as Fairland ended the half on a 12-2 run.
“Britney was huge in the second quarter,” Buchanan said. “She made big plays to help us go up nine and that was big. South Point controlled the better part of the first half.”
Thompson, who averages 4.5 points per game, said she was nervous about shooting 3-pointers and deflected credit to her teammates.
“I didn’t think I would make them,” Thompson said, with a laugh. “I’m impressed with how well we played as a team, how we shared the ball and played defense.”
The Pointers pulled within 31-27 after baskets by Ashley Perkey and Whitt to begin the third quarter, but Fairland took off on another run, 14-2, fueled by eight points from Harlie Lyons, who scored a game-high 13. Allie Marshall scored 13, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots. Warnock scored 11 and pulled down 13 rebounds..
“Allie and Kelsie had a good second half and Harlie made some shots,” Buchanan said. “Emma made some perimeter shots and when she does that, we’re hard to beat.”
Khounlavong and Whitt paced the Pointers with 11 points each.
The Dragons return to action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Ironton, the only team to defeat Fairland in-conference this season. South Point entertains Chesapeake at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
SOUTH POINT 11 11 10 10 - 42: Whitt 11, Howard 3, Roach 6, Khounlavong 11, Crawley 1, Mundy 4, Perkey 6.
FAIRLAND 10 21 19 17 - 67: E. Marshall 9, Lyons 14, Roland 3, Marshall 13, King 2, Warnock 11, Thompson 11, Stone 4.