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Bench triggers Dragons’ win

Fairland Dragons Chance Short (12) shoots over Chesapeake’s Andrew Saunders. Short had 20 points in a 63-60 win on Friday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

PROCTORVILLE — Trailing by 13 points late in the first quarter, Fairland coach Nathan Speed decided to take a chance.

The “chance” he took was putting Chance Short into the game to give the Dragons some more offense. As a result, Short scored a game-high 20 points and sparked the Dragons to a 63-60 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Chesapeake Panthers in a battle for first place.

The win put an exclamation point in the evening as Fairland (7-3, 3-0) christened its gym the Carl York Center.

York — the legendary coach who was 423-159 overall and 321-138 at Fairland — had four unbeaten teams including the 1961 “Untouchables” who were 25-1 and lost to Ayersville in the state tournament quarterfinals.

“Chance is a better offensive player. Instead of defense we went with offense to get in some kind of flow. He got us going,” said Speed.

Also making key contributions off the bench were Dionte Braye and Tyler Campbell. Each scored 7 points with Campbell getting 7 rebounds and Braye 4.

“Our bench won the game for us. No double about it,” said Speed.

Fairland’s Evan Maddox had 13 points and 3 steals, one coming just before the half that cut the deficit to 31-26.

Chesapeake (5-4, 2-1) had four players in double figures. Caleb Heffner had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Caleb Lindsey 14 points, Javon Thompson 13 points and Nick Duffield 11 points and 7 rebounds.

A layp by Chad Meadows and a 3-pointer by Lindsey opened up an 18-5 lead with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.

A 3-point play by Braye made it 18-10 at the end of the quarter.

Chesapeake rebuilt its lead at 29-12 on a basket by Lindsey, but a long 3-pointer by Maddox, a baseline jumper by Short and layup by Braye cut the deficit to 29-19.

A put-back by Campbell with 16 seconds to go made it 31-24 and Maddox came up with his steal and layup with four seconds left in the half as Fairland trailed by 5 points.

“The first quarter we got behind and that killed us. We could’ve fallen over, but we kept fighting. The free throws at the end were big,” said Short.

The Panthers were up 38-31 on a trifeta by Thompson in the third quarter, but two straight follow-up shots by Campbell got Fairland within 45-42 at the end of the quarter.

Fairland tied the game twice before taking its first lead at 56-55 with 2:54 left on two foul shots by Short.

Fairland was 25 of 42 from the foul line, but 15 of 20 in the fourth quarter with 11 of 14 over the final 3:20. Short was 7 of 8 during that stretch.

“We made the foul shots down the stretch and finally got over the hump,” said Speed who got his first win against Chesapeake as Fairland snapped an 0-12 losing streak.

While the Dragons were celebrating the win and the fans honoring York, there was a different set of emotion with the Panthers.

Doug Lindsey, father of Caleb, died on Thursday. Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis said Lindsey’s father was very close to all the players.

“The team is suffering. There are a lot more important things to worry about than basketball right now,” said Davis.

“Doug spent a lot of time in Chesapeake youth sports. He spent a lot of time with these kids. They hung out at his home. They played hard considering the circumstances.”

Chesapeake 18 13 14 15 = 60

Fairland 10 16 16 21 = 63

CHESAPEAKE (5-4, 2-1): Nick Duffield 2 1 4-6 11, Caleb Lindsey 4 2 0-0 14, Caleb Heffner 4 0 7-8 15, Javon Thompson 3 2 1-2 13, Chad Meadows 3 0 1-3 7, Andrew Saunders 0 0 0-0 0, Shane Stephens 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-44 13-19 60. 3-point goals: 5-14. Rebounds: 8-26=34 (Heffner 12, Duffield 7, Meadows 5). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 7 (Lindsey 3). Steals: 5 (Heffner 2). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 24. Fouled out: Meadows (4th 2:54), Heffner (4th 0:15).

FAIRLAND (7-3, 3-0): Cody Midkiff 0 0 3-8 3, Luke Phillipos 0 0 3-4 3, Nathan Campbell 2 0 5-8 9, Kyle Raines 0 0 1-2 1, Evan Maddox 3 1 4-7 13, Chance Short 5 1 7-9 20, Thayer Flynn 0 0 0-0 0, Dionte Braye 3 0 1-1 7, Tyler Campbell 3 0 1-3 7. Totals: 18-51 25-42 63. 3-point goals: 2-11. Rebounds: 16-20=36 (Midkiff 8, T. Campbell 7, Maddox 5). Team rebounds; 4. Assists: 6 (N. Campbell 3). Steals: 11 (Braye 3, Maddox 3). Turnovers: 11 Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Braye (4th 4:44).