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Lady Dragons fall 58-56 in district finals in OT

Fairland Lady Dragons’ Kelsie Warnock (13) drives for a layup against a Lynchburg-Clay defender during Saturday’s Div. III district finals. Fairland fell 58-56 in overtime. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

WAVERLY — Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.
Missed shots, missed free throws and turnovers are all magnified and that causes coaches to second-guess themselves repeatedly. All those things weigh on the minds of players, coaches and fans in this type of game.
And it was “this type of game” as McKayla Binkley hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left to send the game into overtime and then she hit a 13-foot runner with 1.7 seconds left to give the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs a 58-56 win over the Fairland Lady Dragons in overtime on Saturday in the Division III district finals.
“I can’t take anything away from the players. The players did everything we asked them to do. We didn’t a lot of live-ball turnovers and we were worried about turning the ball over and letting them get out in transition and that didn’t happen too much,” said Fairland coach Jon Buchanan.
“I thought we played a very good game. It came down to a couple of plays. They made a couple of plays and that’s how it went.”
With the Mustangs’ defense focused on stopping Fairland leading-scorer Emily Chapman, Kelsie Warnock stepped up with 11 points — she hit three 3-pointers — along with eight rebounds and three assists.
Allie Marshall scored 14 points and Taylar Wilson had 10 points while Alesha Simpson added nine points and seven rebounds for Fairland (22-3).
“They obviously made some big plays, we made some big plays, too. We had a bunch of kids step up. Kelsie Warnock was big, Allie hit some big shots, Alesha fouled out (and) she was having a pretty good game. I was really proud of just a collective effort,” said Buchanan.
“To be quite honest, I don’t think a lot of people felt we were in the same class as Lynchburg, especially after Monday night when we didn’t play so great and they played great and people said it’s going to be a blowout.”

McKayla Binkley had 21 points, 15 rebounds and four assists to lead the Mustangs (23-2). Hannah Binkley had 16 points and Peyton Scott scored nine.
The game featured 15 lead changes and was tied four times.
The see-saw affair began in the first quarter with five lead changes including a layup by Hannah Binkley with 10 seconds on the clock that put the Mustangs up 13-11.
Fairland regained the lead on a 3-pointer by Marshall with 5:15 left in the half only to see the Mustangs score six straight to lead 24-20.
Warnock hit a 3-pointer and Simpson’s put-back with seven seconds left in the half gave Fairland a 25-24 lead going to the locker rooms.
A 3-pointer by McKayla Binkley put Lynchburg-Clay up 31-27 and the lead was 33-30 at the end of the quarter.
Fairland quickly erased the lead when Marshall’s 3-pointer tied the game at 35 w2ith 6:40 to go.
Warnock made a layup and drained a triple with 4:25 left in regulation and Fairland led 42-37. Layups by Hannah and McKayla Binkley put the Mustangs up 46-45 and then Jackie Wagner had a put-back for Fairland and the Lady Dragons were back on top at 47-46.
Chapman came up with a steal and was fouled with 19 seconds on the block. She hit both shots and it was 49-46.
But MaKayla Binkley hit here trifecta to send the game into overtime.
“Blame that on me. There’s always that decision you can make as a coach. Do you foul up the three or do you play it out. We played it our and we’re going home,” said Buchanan.
Fairland had two turnovers to begin the overtime and the Mustangs got a layup by Hannah Binkley to lead 51-49.
Buchanan said Fairland was hurt when Simpson fouled out with 1:32 left in regulation.
“Alesha was a big part of our press-breaker. She was kind of getting the ball in the middle and making pretty good decisions. When we had to change out of that, it kind of took us out a little bit of what we were doing press-breakerwise,” said Buchanan.
Marshall and MaKayla Binkley traded layups and then MaKayla Binkley hit a 17-footer for a 55-51 lead.
Marshall sank two foul shots and Hannah Binkley made one-of-two attempts and it was 56-53. Marshall hit a clutch 3-poinger to tie the game with 44 seconds to go, but McKayla Binkley’s runner just before time ran out finally settled the outcome.
The Lady Dragons finish the season 22-3 — their sixth straight 20-win season and sixth district championship game.
Lynchburg-Clay will now play in the regional semifinals at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Logan.
Lynchburg    13    11    9    16    9    =     58
Fairland    11    14    5    19    7    =    56
LYNCHBUERG-CLAY (23-2): Emily Pinkerton 0 0 0-0 0, Lexi Waits 2 0 0-0 4, Peyton Scott 2 0 5-8 9, Hannah Binkley 6 1 1-5 16, McKayla Binkley 7 2 1-4 21, Zoe Fittro 1 1 0-0 5, Abby Blankenship 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-49 7-14 58. 3-point goals: 5-14. Rebounds: 7-O, 20-D = 27 (M. Binkley 115, Waits 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 8 (M. Binkley 4, Scott 2). Steals: 10 (Waits 5). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
FAIRLAND (22-3): Allie Marshall 1 3 3-4 14, Taylar Wilson 5 0 0-0 10, Emily Chapman 0 2 2-2 8, Kelsie Warnock 1 3 0-1 11, Alesha Simpson 4 0 1-4 9, Jackie Wagner 2 0 0-1 4, Issy McKinney 0 0 0-0 0, Morgan Fridley 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-46 6-12 56. 3-point goals: 8-15. Rebounds: 7-O, 22-D = 29 (Warnock 8, Simpson 7, Chapman 5). Teams/deadball rebounds: 1. Assists: 10 (Wilson 3, Chapman 3, Warnock 3). Steals: 7 (Chapman 2). Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Simpson (4th 1:32).