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Dragons hold off Redmen

PROCTORVILLE — That rollercoaster called the Fairland Dragons’ season finished on the upswing Friday night.

After squandering a big lead early, the Dragons rode the emotional waves of Senior Night to hold off the Rock Hill Redmen 64-59.

“We got a lead like we always do and then let it get away. We never make anything easy,” said Fairland coach John McClung.

“We were up and down on offense, but our defense did a good job for us. Cody Midkiff and Blaine Fuller came off the bench and played good defense for us.”

Fairland is now 10-8 on the season and 4-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

The loss for Rock Hill (6-12, 0-10) was the fifth by 7 points or less this season. Coach Bob Wilds said he is proud of the way his young team continues to battle.

“We dug a hole but the kids didn’t quit and I was proud of that,” said Wilds. “We’ve been right there knocking on everybody’s door, we just can’t get it open.”

Jonathan Holbrook had 17 points and seven rebounds while Evan Salyers got 15 points and eight rebounds for Fairland. Jon Baise added 11 points. Matt Bloomfield handed out six assists.

Sam Cooke scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Rock Hill. Jeremy Blagg added 13 points and five assists and Trey Wilds had four steals.

Holbrook scored 5 points as Fairland took a 23-16 first quarter lead. Cooke scored 12 of Rock Hill’s points in the quarter.

Salyers got 6 points in the second quarter but the Redmen rallied to get within 35-31 at the half.

Fairland went up 49-42 after three quarters and Holbrook sank 4-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Senior Kyle Taubenheim — making his first career start — capped his Fairland career and the game’s scoring with a layup to set the final score.

“Taubenheim gave us some good minutes,” said McClung.

Next up is Division III sectional tournament play. Rock Hill will face Wheelersburg at 7 p.m. Monday at Jackson while Fairland meets Belpre at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Athens.

Rock Hill 16 15 11 17 = 59

Fairland 23 12 14 15 = 64

ROCK HILL (6-12, 0-10): Jeremy Blagg 5-9 0-0 3-5 13, Will McCollister 3-5 0-1 0-0 6, Shane Russell 1-4 0-0 0-1 2, Trey Wilds 0-3 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Albright 2-5 1-1 0-2 7, Devin Darby 3-4 1-1 0-1 9, Mitchell Patterson 1-1 0-1 0-0 2, Sam Cooke 6-13 1-1 5-5 20. Totals: 24-49 8-14 59. 3-point goals: 3-5. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 28 (Cooke 11). Assists: 10 (Blagg 5). Steals: 15 (Wilds 4). Turnovers: 33.

FAIRLAND (10-8, 4-5): Jon Baise 5-6 0-1 1-2 11, Kyle Taubenheim 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Matt Bloomfield 3-12 0-1 0-2 6, Blaine Fuller 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Chad Fisher 3-4 1-5 0-2 9, Jonathan Holbrook 5-7 0-1 7-10 17, Evan Salyers 5-11 0-0 5-7 15, Matt Campbell 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, Cody Midkiff 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-54 13-23 64. 3-point goals: 1-8. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 32 (Salyers 8, Holbrook 7). Assists: 18 (Bloomfield 6). Turnovers: 27.