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Clutch Hornets down Dragons

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

COAL GROVE — When it came down to crunch time, Sean Paulus and Isaiah Gunther were Captain Crunch.

Gunther hit a clutch 3-pointer and Gunther sank two big free throws as the Coal Grove Hornets beat the Fairland Dragons 56-48 on Tuesday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Coal Grove (7-8, 4-5) had four players in double figures led by Brandon Adkins with 15 points. Travis Carey scored 13, and Austen Pleasants and Paulus 11 each.

Chance Short had a game-high 18 points including four 3-pointers to lead Fairland (10-5, 5-3). Kollin Van Horn and Isaiah Howell added 10 points each.

Nathan Campbell had 11 rebounds for the Dragons while Howell grabbed 8 and Van Horn 7.

“We played well enough to win and we had our chances. We had opportunities down the stretch and didn’t make the plays,” said Fairland coach Nathan Speed.

Pleasants had 8 of his points in the first quarter while Short nailed a pair of 3-pointers and it was 12-12.

Van Horn scored 6 points while Short and Howell hit 3-pointers to give Fairland a 29-24 halftime lead. Adkins had 5 points and Carey made a 3-pointer for the Hornets.

Carey scored 9 points in the third quarter as Coal Grove rallied to take a 41-39 lead.

Paulus made a 3-pointer with 3:30 to play that put the Hornets ahead 48-46 and Coal Grove converted 10 of 15 form the foul line in the fourth quarter including two by Gunther with 1:30 to go that opened up a 54-48 lead.

A big key to the win was Coal Grove’s ability to make free throws. The Hornets were 25 of 37 from the line and the Dragons converted just 7 of 12.

Fairland will play in the Huntington Classic at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena this weekend. The Dragons face Teays Valley at 7 p.m. Friday and Tolsia at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Fairland 12 17 10 8 = 48

Coal Grove 12 12 17 15 = 56

FAIRLAND (10-5, 5-3): Chance Short 1 4 4-7 18, Isaiah Howell 2 1 3-4 10, Nathan Campbell 1 0 0-0 2, Tyler Campbell 2 0 0-0 4, Kollin Van Horn 5 0 0-1 10, Gunner Short 0 0 0-0 0, Ty Staton 0 0 0-0 0, Luke Thomas 2 0 0-0 4, Hayden James 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 5 7-12 48. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: C. Short. Rebounds: 38 (N. Campbell 1, Howell 8, Van Horn 7). Turnovers: 11.

COAL GROVE (7-8, 4-5): Travis Carey 2 2 3-6 13, Sean Paulus 1 1 6-6 11, Brandon Adkins 6 0 3-5 15, Joe Akers 0 0 3-5 3, Austen Pleasants 2 0 7-11 11, Jordan Lucas 0 0 1-2 1, Jonathan Joseph 0 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Gunther 0 0 2-2 2, Jacob Pierce 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 3 25-37 56. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 25. Turnovers: 11.