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Lady Dragons earn share of OVC title

Fairland Lady Dragons’ Kaie Fuller (4) applies defensive pressure as Coal Grove’s Ashley Adkins brings the ball up the court. Fairland won 62-28 to clinch at least a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title. (The Ironton Tribune / Joe Stevens of FJS Photos.com)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

COAL GROVE — The Fairland Lady Dragons had one goal in mind before the season began, and they took it one step at a time.

The Lady Dragons took a major step on Thursday as they beat the Coal Grove Lady Hornets 63-28 to clinch at least of a share of the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

It marked the Lady Dragons first league title in 11 years. They need a win over South Point next Thursday to claim the title outright.

“A lot of people have been talking about the Oak Hill game (Saturday), but we felt if we win this game we’re OVC champs,” said Fairland coach Jon Buchanan.

“If we lose to Oak Hill, we lose a seed (in the sectional tournament draw). If we lose to Coal Grove, we could lose the league. From day one we wanted to win the OVC. It’s something we’ve been working on all year. Our kids did a good job all year taking it one game at a time.”

Terra Stapleton triggered the win with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Kayla Swiger had 14 points and Katie Fuller added 9 points, 6 steals and 3 assists as Fairland improved to 18-0 and 9-0.

Katey Erwin had 14 points and 5 rebounds for the Lady Hornets (9-8, 4-5). Amanda Collins and Jacy Jones had 5 rebounds each.

Lady Hornets’ coach Rick Roach said an illness that has plagued center Darrien Hankins hampered his team.

‘It’s really hard to guard a 6-foot-4 player with a 5-6 player. Hankins tried to play but she only managed about 10 minutes total,” said Roach.

“My guards did a great job rebounding. Erwin was able to shoot the ball better than she has been. Unfortunately, our guards have been in a shooting slump.”

Fairland went in front 16-7 the first quarter as Stapleton scored 6 points. Swiger scored 11 points in the second quarter and the lead grew to 37-14 at the break.

“Our pressure was the turning point. We forced turnovers and we got a lot of layups,” said Buchanan.

Stapleton scored 8 more points in the third quarter as the lead grew to 54-21. She had 7 more in the fourth quarter before the reserves finished up.

Fairland plays Oak Hill at noon on Saturday at Chesapeake High School in the Huntington Prep Tri-State Hoops Classic.

Fairland 16 21 17 9 = 63

Coal Grove 7 7 7 7 = 28

FAIRLAND (18-0, 9-0): Alexis Wright 0-1 0-1 0-0 0, Terra Stapleton 12-14 0-0 1-1 25, Katie Fuller 2-4 1-2 2-3 9, Kayla Swiger 3-3 2-2 2-2 14, Jaimie Phillips 1-5 0-0 0-0 2, Chandler Fulks 2-5 0-4 1-2 5, Taylor Staten 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Brianna Dickess 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Poe 1-1 0-1 0-0 2, Kelsey Riley 1-4 0-0 0-0 2, Caitlin Stone 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Riley 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, Haley Woodall 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Fulks 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Pieper Lewis 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Kerie Napier 0-2 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-55 6-8 63. 3-point goals: 3-10. Rebounds: 40 (Stapleton 10, Phillips 8, K. Riley 5). Assists: 19 (C. Fulks 6, Fuller 3, K. Riley 3). Steals: 12 (Fuller 6, Phillips 3). Turnovers: 15. Blocked shots: 2 (Napier, Stapleton). Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.

COAL GROVE (9-8, 4-5): Jacy Jones 1-3 0-3 0-0 2, Deanna Bentley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Katey Erwin 4-8 0-0 6-11 14, Leah Crum 0-2 1-3 0-2 3, Ashley Adkins 1-4 2-7 0-3 8, Amanda Collins 0-5 0-0 1-2 1, Morgan Sites 0-4 0-0 0-0 0, Darrien Hankins 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Brittany Webb 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Ashley Goad 0-1 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-42 7-18 28. 3-point goals: 3-13. Rebounds: 24 (Collins 5, Jones 5, Erwin 5). Assists: 6 (Sites 3). Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None.