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Hot-shooting Hornets blast Fairfield, 81-46

Coal Grove Hornets’ guard Cory Borders (2) hits one of his six 3-point goals during the Division IV district semifinal game Sunday at Ohio University’s Convocation Center. The Hornets beat the Fairfield Lions 81-46. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

ATHENS, OH — The Coal Grove Hornets traveled a long way, so it was only appropriate that they do some shooting from a long way from the basket.
The Hornets knocked down 14 shots from behind the 3-point arc to help fuel an 81-46 rout of the Leesburg Fairfield Lions on Sunday in the Division IV district semifinals at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
Coal Grove hit 31-of-56 field goal attempts for 55.4 percent including 14-of-22 from the 3-point line for 63.6 percent.
“That was probably the best all-around game we’ve played all year,” said Hornets’ coach Kevin Vanderhoof.
“That’s the best we’ve shot since I’ve been here. We forced a few shots but overall, we took good shots. Playing three games up there last year helped. We practiced at Marshall (Friday) and that helped us.”
Cory Borders led the bomb squad with six including a 40-footer at the buzzer to end the first half. Borders finished with a game-high 20 points.
Aaron Music scored 13 points and Evan Holmes had a big game off the bench with 12 points including a pair of trifectas for the Hornets.
Evan Gannon and Payton Smith both had a pair of 3-pointers for the Hornets and scored eight points each. Nate Harmon had eight points and eight rebounds.
“Holmes had a nice game. He did a good job defensively and he hit a couple of 3s for us,” said Vanderhoof. “We had a good rotation. Whenever I called on someone, they did their job.”
Wyatt Willey scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds, Sam Buddlemeyer 12 points and Bryson Simmons 10 points for Fairfield (12-11).
Coal Grove (17-6) will play Waterford at 8:15 p.m. Thursday in the district championship game at the Convocation Center.
Gannon hit his 3-pointers in the first quarter as did Smith whose second triple gave the Hornets a 25-10 lead.
Buddlemeyer made a layup to end the quarter and it was 25-12.
Smith had a layup and Holmes sank two foul shots as Coal Grove took a 29-14 lead with 5:43 left in the second quarter.
Ethan Saunders scored for the Lions to make it a 29-18 game only to have Borders drill a 3-pointer and add a layup for a 34-18 lead.
Willey and Simmons got basket to cut the deficit to 34-22. Borders then dropped in another trey, Nate Harmon hit two foul shots and a layup for a 41-25 lead.
Borders capped the first half with a 40-footer at the buzzer and it was 44-25 at the break.
The Hornets came out sluggish to start the second half as Fairfield cut the spread to 46-34 after a layup and 3-pointer by Willey.
“We took some bad shots and turned the ball over. We lost some of our intensity. But we picked it up in the fourth quarter,” said Vanderhoof.
But Music’s short baseline jump and back-to-back 3-pointers by Borders opened up a 54-34 lead just before the buzzer.
Jaylen McKenzie had a pair of assists to Holmes who made two straight layups and Kyle Sites got into the act as he came off the bench to hit a 3-pointer and it was 63-36.
Buddlemeyer ended the run with a pair of layups but Music made a layup and Holmes drained a 3-pointer for a 68-40 lead and the Hornets began to empty the bench.
Fairfield 12 13 9 12 = 46
Coal Grove 25 19 10 27 = 81
LEESBURG FAIRFIELD (12-11): Austin Setty 0 0 1-2 1, Sam Buddlemeyer 6 0 0-0 12, Wyatt Willey 4 2 0-0 14, Ethan Saunders 2 0 1-2 5, Bryson Simmons 3 0 4-5 10, Reese Teeters 0 0 0-0 0, Conner Priest 1 0 0-0 2, Jon Bentley 0 0 2-2 2, Caleb Payne 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-44 8-11 46. 3-pt goals: 2-11. Rebounds: 21 (Willey 10, Saunders 5). Assists: 5 (Saunders 3, Simmons 2). Steals: 4 (Sunders 2). Turnovers: 19. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
COAL GROVE (18-6): Aaron Music 5 1 0-0 13, Cory Borders 1 6 0-0 20, Evan Gannon 1 2 0-0 8, Nate Harmon 3 0 2-2 8, Jaylen McKenzie 1 0 0-0 2, Evan Holmes 2 2 2-2 12, Tait Matney 0 0 0-0 0, Kyle Sites 0 1 0-0 3, Luke Ferguson 0 0 0-0 0, Malachi Wheeler 0 0 1-2 1, Perry Kingery 0 0 0-0 0, Justin Hicks 0 0 0-0 0, Trevor Hankins 0 0 0-0 0, Trevor Carey 3 0 0-0 6, Payton Smith 1 2 0-2 8. Totals: 31-56 5-10 81. 3-pt goals: 14-22. Rebounds: 30 (Harmon 8, Music 7). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 14 (McKenzie 4, Music 3). Steals: 11 (Music 3, Smith 3). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.