• 46°

Dragons clinch OVC basketball crown

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

GALLIPOLIS — In the newspaper business, putting the marking “-30-” means the end of the story.

The Fairland Dragons put up a “-30-” in the second quarter and that meant the end of the Ohio Valley Conference race.

Fairland erased a two-point first quarter deficit with a 30-point second quarter that sparked the Dragons to a 66-46 win over the Gallipolis Blue Devils on Tuesday and gave them the league basketball title outright.

“We were a little tight coming in and we just loosened up in the second quarter and got some baskets in transition and that got us going,” said Fairland coach Nathan Speed.

The game was tied four times with seven lead changes in the first quarter. Devan Henry scored eight points including a pair of 3-pointers and Wes Jarrell had five more as Gallipolis took a 15-13 lead.

Gallipolis (7-13, 5-8) led 17-13 with 7:28 left in the first half, but Isaiah Howell went 1-of-2 from the foul line to cap a 13-0 run that put the Dragons up for good at 26-17 with 4:21 on the clock.

The Blue Devils never got closer than 26-19 the rest of the game.

Van Horn scored 14 points in the second quarter including 4-of-4 at the line. Luke Thomas scored seven points in the quarter for the Dragons.

Howell hit a field goal with 4:16 to play that gave Fairland its largest lead at 64-48. Howell scored 11 points in the fourth quarter including a 3-point goal.

Fairland started each quarter strong. The Dragons were 2-of-2 to start the first quarter, 5-of-5 in the second, 2-of-2 in the third and 4-of-4 from the floor in the fourth quarter.

Van Horn scored 21 points, Howell had 18 and Thomas 15 to lead the Dragons (16-4, 12-0).

Jarrell scored 13 points and Henry 12 to pace Gallipolis.

Speed said winning the OVC was a tribute to the players’ hard work starting at the end of last season.

“The conference is very strong. I feel it’s the toughest in the Southeast district. There are a lot of good teams and good coaches. You have to take each game and prepare and get better,” said Speed.

“One of our two focuses was to get in the weight room and then becoming more mentally tough and survive the mental grind. We tried to beef up our non-conference schedule and face quick and talented teams and hope the exposure to them would pay off and it did.”

Fairland plays at rival Chesapeake on Friday and South Point on Saturday.

Fairland 13 30 9 14 = 66

Gallipolis 15 10 8 13 = 46

FAIRLAND (16-4, 12-0): Ty State 0 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Howell 6 1 3-4 18, Kollin Van Horn 8 0 5-6 21, Luke Thomas 4 1 4-6 15, Gunner Short 1 1 0-3 5, Brandon Porter 0 0 0-0 0, Hunter Ashton 2 0 0-0 4, Dairus Stapleton 1 0 1-2 3, Hayden James 0 0 0-0 0, Joel Lambiotte 0 0 0-0 0, Chase Fisher 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 3 13-21 66. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

GALLIPOLIS (7-13, 5-8): Wes Jarrell 5 0 3-5 13, Kole Carter 1 0 2-2 4, Russell Matthews 1 0 0-0 2, Devan Henry 1 3 1-2 12, Drew VanSickle 3 0 0-0 6, Miles Cornwell 1 1 0-1 5, Evan Nieslport 0 0 0-2 0, Karl Thomas 0 0 0-0 0, Justin McClelland 0 0 2-2 2, Cody Call 0 0 -0 0, Clay Miller 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 1 8-14 46. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.