Dragons down Hornets, 61-43

Published 2:17 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

By Dustin Melchior

COAL GROVE— The Fairland Dragons kept their perfect league record alive Tuesday night after beating the Coal Grove Hornets 61-43 in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup.
Dragons’ junior Gunner Short came up big for Fairland all game, racking up a game-high 24 points to go along with five rebounds.
Junior Luke Thomas also scored in double figures with 12 points for Fairland, including two threes, while juniors Keedrick Cunningham and Isaiah Howell chipped in eight points each for the Dragons.
Howell also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
“I was really pleased with our effort defensively. We stayed focused and patient on the defensive end,” Fairland head coach Nathan Speed said.
“Offensively, we could have been better in the half court and been more patient, but overall, our rotations were much better.”
Fairland (16-1, 10-0) led 10-4 after the first quarter, and went into halftime with a 21-14 lead.
Coal Grove (6-10, 2-7) saw one player score in double figures as Jeb Jones recorded a team-high 11 points to go with three boards.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Coal Grove sophomore Aaron Music grabbed a steal and laid it in on the fast break to pull within 16-21.
However, Fairland went on a 6-0 run after Music’s layup to go up 27-16 and after three quarters led 40-27.
“We knew Fairland is a really good basketball team and, overall, I thought our guys played pretty good,” Coal Grove head coach Kevin Vanderhoof said.
“I told them before the game that I wanted to get better tonight, and I thought we did that. We’re young and still learning how to play. We just couldn’t score tonight.”
Vanderhoof added that he thought his team came out after halftime more aggressive, pulling within a couple points at various times, but couldn’t get over hump.
“I think our intensity picked up in the third quarter,” Vanderhoof said. “We cut it down to five a couple times, but we missed some shots and they stretched the lead out.”
Hornets freshman Cory Borders came off the bench and drained two threes in the third quarter to go along with two free throws for eight points.
Sophomore Jaylen McKenzie also chipped in nine points for the Hornets off the bench.
On Friday, Fairland hosts South Point while Coal Grove will travel to Gallipolis.
Fairland    10    11    19    21    =    61
Coal Grove    4     10    13    16    =    43
FAIRLAND (16-1, 10-0): Ty Staten 1 0 3-4 5, Luke Thomas 2 2 2-2 12, Isaiah Howell 3 0 2-2 8, Keedrick Cunningham 3 0 2-4 8, Darius Stapleton 2 0 0-0 2, Gunner Short 8 0 8-8 24, Joel Lambiotte 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 20 2 17-20 61.
COAL GROVE (6-10, 2-7): Aaron Music 3 0 0-1 6, Cory Borders 0 2 2-4 8, Jordan Case 1 0 2-2 4, Mark Sites 1 1 0-0 5, Jaylen McKenzie 3 0 3-8 9, Jeb Jones 4 0 3-4 11. Totals: 12 3 10-19 43.

Email newsletter signup