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Pointers climb into OVC race

South Point Pointers’ Austin Webb lays in two points during a 49-35 win over the Fairland Dragons on Friday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

SOUTH POINT — To quote sportscaster Lee Corso, “Not so fast.”
The Pointers who might have lost All-Ohio guard Tayshaun Fox for the season with a knee injury, thus killing any Ohio Valley Conference title hopes.
Or so many thought.
South Point not only jumped right into the thick of the league race, but they created a wide-open title chase in the process as they handed the Fairland Dragons their first OVC loss in nearly four years, 49-35.
South Point is now 4-3 and Fairland 5-4. Both teams are 2-1 in the league.
The Pointers jumped out to a 27-point first half lead and held off a second half comeback by the Dragons.
Ian Chinn’s basket at the 5:29 mark tied the game at 2-2 and proved to be the Dragons’ only basket of the first quarter.
The Pointers went on a 14-0 run to finish the quarter and it was 16-2.
Things didn’t get much better for Fairland as the Pointers continued to roll.
Austin Webb and Roger Staggs scored to make it 20-2.
Aiden Porter hit a 3-pointer for Fairland but Chance Gunther answered with his own trifecta and it was 23-5 with 6:23 left in the half.
Marcus Malone’s basket and another trey by Gunther put the lead at 28-5 before Andy Lang scored for the Dragons.
Webb got three straight baskets to end the half and the Pointers were up 34-7.
Jacob Polcyn hit back-to-back shots for the Dragons as South Point went cold in the third quarter and it was 34-19.
The Pointers only basket came with 3:09 on the clock as Webb scored inside.
Chinn scored as the Dragons got within 36-26 to begin the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by Clayton Thomas had Fairland down 40-31 with 3:23 to play.
But Gunther scored and Staggs hit a foul shot to make it 43-31. Gunther sank two more free throws before a basket by Porter with 50 seconds left, but Gunther hit a foul shot and Nakyon Turner went 3-for-4 at the foul line for a 49-35 lead with 35 seconds to go.
“We played excellent defense,” said Pointers’ coach Travis Wise.
“I told them to win the first three minutes of the third quarter and we rushed up three 3-pointers and we started to play not to lose. They cut it to nine, but we responded. It was a good win. We just have to fix the third quarter. But it was a nice win.”
Gunther had 19 points including 4-of-5 from 3-pointer range to lead the Pointers. Webb scored 12 points, Marcus Malone had eight points, six rebounds and three blocks while Staggs had four assists and two steals.
Fairland was led by Porter with 13 points and Polcyn with 11.
Chinn had five rebounds while Thomas had four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Polcyn and Porter had three assists each.
On Tuesday, Fairland hosts Portsmouth and South Point visits Gallipolis.
Fairland 2 5 17 11 = 35
South Point 16 18 2 13 = 49
FAIRLAND (5-4, 2-1): Jacob Polcyn 5-6 0-0 1-2 11, Aiden Porter 2-6 3-5 0-0 13, Gavin Hunt 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Mondlak 1-4 0-8 0-0 2, Austin Gartin 0-0 0-3 0-0 0, Ian Chinn 2-3 0-0 0-0 4, Andy Lang 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Clayton Thomas 0-1 1-7 0-0 3. Totals: 15-45 1-2 35. 3-pt goals: 4-23. Rebounds: 10-O, 13-D = 23 (Chinn 5, Thomas 4). Assists: 11 (Thomas 4, Polcyn 3, Porter 3). Steals: 6 (Mondlak 2, Porter 2). Blocks: 4 (Thomas 2). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 23. Fouled out; None.
SOUTH POINT (4-3, 2-1): Chance Gunther 2-5 4-5 3-4 19, Nakyon Turner 2-2 0-0 3-4 7, Kenyon Carter 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Roger Staggs 1-1 0-1 1-4 3, Austin Webb 6-10 0-2 0-2 12, Kyle Badgett 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Brody Blackwell 0-1 0-2 0-0 0, Marcus Malone 3-3 0-1 2-2 8. Totals: 18-33 9-16 49. 3-pt goals: 4-11. Rebounds: 5-O, 17-D = 22 (Malone 6, Turner 5). Assists: 11 (Staggs 4). Steals: 4 (Staggs 2). Blocks: 3 (Malone 3). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.