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Dragons rally late to slip by Hornets, 51-46

Coal Grove Hornets’ Jaylen McKenzie (23) looks to drive against Fairland Dragons’ Aiden Porter (1) during Friday’s OVC game. Fairland rallied in the fourth quarter to win 51-46. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — Patience is a virtue and the Fairland Dragons are becoming very virtuous.
The Dragons again went to their patient, high-percentage shot offense and shot 56 percent as they rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Coal Grove Hornets 51-46 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
Fairland (4-1, 2-0) made 18-of-31 field goal attempts along with 12-of-18 at the foul line. Coal Grove (3-2, 1-1) was 20-of-42 for a good 47.6 percent but converted only 3-of-11 foul shots.
Austin Gartin had 15 points and Jacob Polcyn 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals to lead the Dragons.
Jaylen McKenzie led the Hornets with 15 points while Aaron Music had 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
“We played hard but they did, too,” said Hornets’ coach Kevin Vanderhoof. “We got up seven or eight and they battled back. Give them credit. They played well.”
A 3-pointer by Cory Borders and a basket by McKenzie helped Coal Grove race to a 9-2 lead at the start of the game.
A trey by Clayton Thomas made it 11-7 but Payten Smith’s basket gave the Hornets a 13-7 lead at the end of the quarter.
A foul shot by Nate Harmon and another bucket by Borders extended the lead to 16-7 just 58 seconds into the second quarter.
Ian Chinn had a basket and a foul shot as Fairland cut the deficit to 19-15 and Polcyn scored at the 3:15 mark and it was 19-17.
Music hit a 3-pointer and Chinn answered with a basket and it was 22-19 at the half.
Baskets by Harmon and Smith opened up a 26-19 lead to begin the second half and it was 30-23 with 5:06 on the clock after a basket by McKenzie.
Matt Mondlak and Aiden Porter scored to get Fairland within 30-27 only to have Harmon push the lead to 36-30 at the 1:25 mark.
Mondlak had another basket and Polcyn a free throw to make it 36-33 at the end of the quarter.
Gartin had a basket and then a free throw with 7:10 left that tied the game.
Evan Gannon put the Hornets back in front but Mondlak scored to tie the game again.
Polcyn’s free throws with 3:59 left gave Fairland its first lead at 42-40 and Gartin scored to make it 44-40.
Borders drained a 3-pointer and it was 44-43 as the teams kept training baskets.
Porter finally made two foul shots with 14 seconds left and it was 50-46. The Hornets missed a shot with 14 seconds to go and Chinn got the rebound and was foul with eight seconds on the clock.
Chinn hit the first of two foul shots but the Hornets missed a 3-point attempts and Mondlak grabbed the rebound to secure the win.
Coal Grove plays St. Joseph at 3 p.m. on Friday in the Ironton Classic. Fairland hosts Huntington, W.Va., on Friday.
Coal Grove 13 9 14 10 = 46
Fairland 7 12 14 18 = 51
COAL GROVE (3-2, 1-1): Aaron Music 4-7 1-1 5-8 12, Cory Borders 1-1 2-5 0-0 8, Evan Gannon 1-2 0-1 0-1 2, Evan Holmes 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Nate Harmon 2-4 0-1 1-3 5, Tait Matney 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Kyle Sites 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jaylen McKenzie 7-11 0-3 1-4 15, Payten Smith 2-3 0-1 0-1 4. Totals: 20-42 3-11 46. 3-pt. goals: 3-14. Rebounds: 6-O, 13-D = 19 (Music 7). Assists: 8 (Music 6). Steals: 6 (Music 2, Borders 2). Blocks: 2 (Music, McKenzie). Turnovers: 6. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.
FAIRLAND (4-1, 1-1): Jacob Polcyn 4-4 0-0 3-4 11, Aiden Porter 1-3 0-3 4-5 6, Matt Mondlak 3-3 0-1 2-2 8, Austin Gartin 4-5 2-3 1-4 15, Ian Chinn 3-3 0-1 2-3 8, Andy Lang 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton Thomas 0-1 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 18-31 12-18 51. 3-pt. goals: 3-12. Rebounds: 3-O, 18-D = 21 (Chinn 8, Polcyn 7). Assists: 15 (Porter 6, Thomas 3). Steals: 4 (Porter 2). Blocks: 2 Polcyn, Porter). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.