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Fairland #8216;coasters past WU

ATHENS — The rollercoaster continues.

The Fairland Dragons continued their up and down play as they finished flying high by rallying in the fourth quarter to beat the West Union Dragons 65-61 in the Div. III district semifinals at Ohio University.

Fairland recovered from a 9-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to get the comeback win.

“This is typical for us,” said Fairland coach Chad Belville. “We have stretches in a game when it is ugly and we have stretches in a game when we look really good.”

“We have got to find some consistency with this team.”

Michael Lamb hit his first four shots for Fairland and Jordan Cox had 11 points for West Union as the lead changed hands five times before West Union went ahead 19-15.

A three pointer by Cox gave West Union its biggest lead of the half at 28-24 with 3:27 on the clock.

Fairland used a baseline jumper by Jacob Lucas to go up 36-35 just before the halftime buzzer.

The Dragons had seven turnovers in the third quarter and WU used an 8-0 run to take a 53-46 lead.

West Union led 57-48 early in the fourth quarter when Fairland ran of 10 unanswered points to take a 58-57 lead with 2:54 left in the game.

“We called a timeout and told them to play with emotion, go hard, be more active and, on offense, calm down and execute,” Belville said.

Cox sank two free throws but Dustin Bumgardner hit a layup for the Dragons and it was 60-59.

West Union used a layup by Jeremy Bennington to take its final lead at 61-60. Zach Jordan’s layup with just 28 seconds left put Fairland up for good at 62-61.

A traveling call led to an intentional fall and Cole Hatfield made three free throws over a period of one second to make it 65-51 with 12 seconds to play.

“It was a great comeback. We could easily have laid down and quit,” Belville said.

Lamb had 21 points and 8 rebounds to lead Fairland. Jordan scored 11 and Bumgardner 10.

Cox had 22 points for West Union (14-7).

Fairland (15-6) plays Oak Hill at 5 p.m. Saturday in the district finals at Ohio University.

West Union1916188 = 61 Fairland15211019 = 65WEST UNION (14-7): Craig Staggs 3 0 3-3 9, Jordan Cox 4 4 2-3 22, Ashley Price 6 0 2-2 14, Jeremy Bennington 3 0 0-0 6, Eric Richmond 1 0 6-6 8, Shane Hacker 0 0 2-2 2, Dean Kirker 0 0 0-0 0, Evan Stapleton Kirker 0 0 0-0 0, Brandon Willis Kirker 0 0 0-0 0.

21-49 15-16 61. Three-point goals: 4-9. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 10 15=25 (Bennington 8, Price 6). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 6 (Cox 2). Steals: 6 (Bennington 2, Staggs 2). Turnovers: 16. Blocks: 1 (Bennington).

FAIRLAND (15-6): Zach Jordan 3 1 2-3 11, Cole Hatfield 2 0 3-4 7, Jacob Lucas 4 0 1-2 9, Michael Lamb 8 1 2-3 21, Dustin Bumgardner 4 0 2-2 10, Zach Bloomfield 2 0 2-3 6, Ethan Long 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Kersey 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Ferguson 0 0 0-0 0, Chris Ward 0 0 0-0 0.

Totals: 25-47 12-17 65. Three-point goals: 2-8. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 5-15=20 (Lamb 8). Assists: 14 (Hatfield 7). Steals 7 (Lucas 3). Turnovers: 12.