Archived Story

Lady Dragons beat West for district crown

Published 3:08am Monday, March 4, 2013

Jim Walker


ATHENS — It might have looked ugly, but it might as well have been a Rembrandt to the Fairland Lady Dragons.

In what might be termed an ugly performance, the Lady Dragons still found a way to beat the Portsmouth West Lady Senators 46-32 Sunday and claimed the Division III sectional championship at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” said Fairland coach Jon Buchanan. “We’ll take a district championship any way we can get it.”

The Lady Dragons’ second straight district title means they will play Johnston Monroe at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals at Logan High School.

The Johnnies (22-4) beat Fredericktown 43-41 on Saturday to win the girls’ first-ever district title.

Fairland (23-0) won despite shooting 20-of-64 from the floor for 31.3 percent and just 6-of-12 at the line, committing 14 turnovers, getting out-rebounded 44-to-42 and — more importantly — playing without 6-4 center Terra Stapleton for more than half the game due to foul trouble.

The difference for the Lady Dragons was their defense as they held Portsmouth West to a meager 9-of-45 shooting from the field for 20 percent and forced 23 turnovers.

“We did a really good job defensively. We got a little tired and let (Tori) Leader get in the lane more than we wanted,” said Buchanan. “If (Leader) was going to beat us, we said let her do it outside the paint.”

Taylor Perry scored 11 points and Stapleton had 10 points and six rebounds. Kelsey Riley added nine points and seven rebounds.

Leader finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Taylor Conley had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

West (13-11) led twice in the first quarter with the final time at 9-8 on a 15-footer by Conley with 1:20 on the clock.

After Stapleton went to the bench with her second foul, Riley followed up a missed shot and then had a put-back of her own miss as Fairland went up 12-9 at the end of the quarter.

Conley’s free throw made it 12-10 to start the second quarter but Taylor Perry scored three points, Caitlin Stone made a layup and Perry had another layup and the lead was 19-10 with 3:36 left in the half.

The Lady Senators — who missed all 12 field goal attempts in the quarter — got three foul shots from Conley to trail 19-13, but Kayla Swiger’s 12-footer with 54 seconds to go in the half put Fairland up 21-13.

Leader’s layup to start the second half made it 21-15, but Fairland went on an 8-0 run to lead 29-15 at the 3:30 mark.

Stapleton picked up her third foul in the quarter and West was able to get within 29-19 at the end of the quarter.

The Lady Senators used a 3-point play by Leader to cut the deficit to 33-28 and a 3-pointer by Hannah Cremeans narrowed the gap to just 35-31 with 3:36 to play.

Stapleton then made two key plays with a put-back and a layup at the 3:02 mark for a 39-31 lead. Chandler Fulks sank two free throws and the lead was 41-31.

“I knew I was fouling and I had to keep my head in the game,” said Stapleton. “Every time you score you boost your self-esteem. I just kept going and going.”

West was forced to foul and the Lady Dragons were just 3-of-7 at the line over the final 1:11, but strong defense allowed West only a free throw the rest of the way to seal the win.

Ports. West 9 4 6 13 = 32

Fairland 12 9 8 17 = 46

PORTSMOUTH WEST (14-12): Taylor Conley 2 0 7-12 11, Hannah Cremeans 0 2 0-0 6, Tara Journey 0 0 0-0 0, Tori Leader 5 0 4-6 14, Alex Ridout 0 0 0-0 0, Alex Weghorst 0 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Whitaker 0 0 0-0 0, Cammy Oiler 0 0 1-2 1, Mimi Pierce 0 0 0-0 0, Angel Trapp 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-45 12-20 32. 3-point goals: 2-18. Rebounds: 14 offense, 30 defense = 44 (Leader 12, Conley 11). Team rebounds: 8. Assists: 2. Steals: 3. Turnovers: 23. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. FG% = 20. FT% = 60.

FAIRLAND (23-0): Terra Stapleton 5 0 0-0 10, Chandler Fulks 1 0 2-2 4, Kelsey Riley 4 0 1-3 9, Caitlin Stone 4 0 0-2 8, Taylor Perry 4 0 3-4 11, Mackenzie Riley 0 0 0-1 0, Jenna Fulks 0 0 0-0 0, Kayla Swiger 1 0 0-0 2, Mariah Chaffin 0 0 0-0 0, Haley Woodall 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-64 6-12 46. 3-point goals: 0-12. Rebounds: 16 offense, 26 defense = 42 (K. Riley 7, M. Riley 7, Stapleton 6, C. Fulks 6). Team rebounds: 8. Assists: 8 (K. Riley 3, M. Riley 2, Stone 2). Steals: 15 (Stone 4, Perry 4, C. Fulks 4). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Stapleton (4th 1:14). FG% = 31.3. FT% = 50.

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