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Spartans upset Fairland in sectional finals

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

JACKSON — Having a bad shooting night isn’t good during tournament play.
Just ask the Fairland Dragons.
Fairland suffered one of its worse shooting performances of the season in a 49-26 loss to the Alexander Spartans in the Division III sectional finals on Saturday night.
The Dragons (19-5) are usually the team that shoots better than their opponents but they made just 10-of-34 shots for 29.4 percent. They were 3-of-15 from behind the arc.
The Spartans (19-5) stole a page from Fairland as they made 17-of-26 shots for 65.4 percent including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.
Alexander took a 5-0 lead as Dylan Mecum scored and J.K. Kearns hit 3-pointer.
But 3-pointers by Jacob Polcyn and Matt Mondlak put Fairland up 7-5.
Stone Markins hit back-to-back baskets as the Spartans went up 9-7 and a basket by Matt Brown at the 2:02 mark had the lead at 11-8.
But Polcyn had two baskets — the second with eight seconds on the clock — and the Dragons were up 12-11 to end the quarter.
The lead changed hands six times in the second quarter along with one tie. Mondlak hit a 3-pointer at the 3:05 mark for the final score of the half and Fairland led 20-19 at the break.
Caleb Terry scored for the Spartans to begin the second half only to have Ian Chinn answer for Fairland and it was 22-21.
But Terry scored again, Mecum hit a 3-pointer, Markins got a basket and Terry hit a 3-pointer as Alexander went up 31-22 with 2:51 left in the third quarter.
Polcyn snapped the scoring run with a basket at the 2:14 mark, but Markins scored and it was 33-24 at the end of the quarter.
Chinn cut the deficit to 33-26 at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Spartans scored 16 unanswered points to end the game.
Alexander outscored the Dragons 30-6 in the second half.
Polcyn had 10 points and four assists for Fairland who won the Ohio Valley Conference title this season. Mondlak and Chinn had five rebounds each.
The 6-foot-10 Terry scored 15 points, Mecum 13 and Markins 10 to pace the Spartans. Mecum had eight rebounds and Terry five.
Alexander will play Lucasville Valley at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday in the district semifinals at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
Alexander 11 8 14 16 = 49
Home team 12 8 4 2 = 26
ALEXANDER (19-5): Lucas Markins 0 0 0-0 0, J.K. Kearns 0 1 0-0 3, Kaleb Easley 0 0 0-0 0, Trey Schaller 0 0 0-0 0, Colby Carsey 0 0 0-0 0, Matt Brown 2 0 0-0 4, Stone Markins 5 0 0-1 10, Dylan Mecum 3 1 4-5 13, Tyler Rice 0 0 0-0 0, Kam Riley 0 0 4-4 4, Luke Chapman 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Terry 4 1 4-6 15. Totals: 17-26 12-17 49. 3-pt goals: 3-3. Rebounds: 3-O, 15-D = 18 (Mecum 8, Terry 5). Assists: 6 (Riley 2, S. Markins 2). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 5. Fouled out: None.
FAIRLAND (19-5): Jacob Polcyn 3 1 1-2 10, Aiden Porter 1 0 0-0 2, Gavin Hunt 1 0 0-0 2, Matt Mondlak 0 2 0-0 6, Austin Gartin 0 0 0-0 0, Mason Manns 0 0 0-0 0, Ian Chinn 2 0 2-4 6, Andy Lange 0 0 0-0 0, Clayton Thomas 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-34 3-6 26. 3-pt goals: 3-15. Rebounds: 8-O, 8-D = 16 (Mondlak 5, Chinn 5). Assists: 7 (Polcyn 4, Porter 2). Steals: 3 (Chinn 2). Blocks: 1 (Mondlak). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.