Fairland hangs on

Published 1:16 am Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dragons survive Garaway scare to win 57-52 and advance

Athens — In one of their toughest tests of the season, the Fairland Dragons came out on top against the Garaway Pirates 57-52 in the Division III Regional Semifinals at the Ohio University Convocation Center Wednesday evening.
In a close game from start to finish, the Dragons kept their composure and never allowed the game to rattle them.
“Garaway did a good job of controlling the tempo and playing at their pace, and we got antsy with that and sort of out of sync,” Fairland head coach Nathan Speed said. “Offensively, they did some things that messed with our rhythm, and defensively, they ran a triangle-two defense that threw us off a little bit. But we kept our composure and fought through that.”
Fairland had three players score in double figures, led by Luke Thomas and Isaiah Howell who each scored 13 and Ty Staten with 11.
Garaway’s Ty Hamsher scored a game-high 24 points to keep the Pirates in the game all the way through, including 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Joel Honingford added eight points, Phillip Gebhardt and Malik Shaffer six each and Ben Mason chipped in four points for the Pirates.
After the first quarter the Dragons led 14-11 but were outscored 16-15 in the second to carry a two-point lead into the break.
Both teams struggled to score in the third quarter, with Garaway outscoring Fairland 10-9 in the period to enter the fourth only trailing the Dragons by one.
The offense picked back up in the final quarter, as Malik Shaffer drained a triple near the five-minute mark to put the Pirates up three at 44-41.
Garaway’s Ethan Roden scored a basket with around 2:35 left in the game to put the Pirates up five, before Fairland’s Luke Thomas hit a three to pull the Dragons within three at 46-49 around the 2:23 mark in the game.
Fairland called a time out after Thomas’ triple, which was followed by a steal and bucket by Gunner Short to get the Dragons within one near the 2:15 mark.
Short finished the game with seven points.
Another bucket by Thomas put the Dragons up by one before Hamsher answered with an and-one layup to put Garaway back up two at 52-50.
Thomas went back to the line to drain two free throws to tie the game at 52, before Garaway started to intentionally foul Fairland, allowing the Dragons to seal the win.
“I’m really proud of our guys. We’re trusting each other and moving the ball. Not one person is doing everything,” Speed said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time and looking at who we’ll have next.”
Fairland beat Garaway 80-52 on Dec. 31.
With the win, Fairland plays Berlin Hiland (22-4) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ohio University Convocation Center in the regional championship game and the right to go to the state tournament.
Hiland ended Southeastern’s Cinderella run with a 60-34 win.

Fairland 14 15 9 19 = 57
Garaway 11 16 10 15 = 52

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FAIRLAND: Ty Staten 3 1 2-2 11, Isaiah Howell 3 1 4-6 13, Luke Thomas 3 1 4-5 13, Kollin Van Horn 4 0 0-0 8, Keedrick Cunningham 1 1 0-0 5, Gunner Short 3 0 1-2 7, Mike Mondlak 0 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 4 11-15 57. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.
GARAWAY: Ben Mason 2 0 0-0 4, Ty Hamsher 7 0 10-13 24, Phillip Gebhardt 0 2 0-0 6, Ethan Roden 1 0 0-0 2, Malik Shaffer 0 2 0-0 6, Trevor Donaldson 1 0 0-1 2, Joel Honingford 3 0 2-2 8. Totals: 14 4 12-16 52. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.