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Dragons top Panthers to take control of OVC

Chesapeake Panthers’ Travis Grim (2) goes high in the air as he attempts to block the shot of the Fairland Dragons’ Aiden Porter (right). Fairland beat Chesapeake 51-34 to take over sole possession of first place in the Ohio Valley Conference. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

CHESAPEAKE — The Fairland Dragons controlled the tempo and as a result they now control the Ohio Valley Conference race.
Fairland slowed the pace to keep the Chesapeake Panthers from their fast-paced style and the Dragons came away with a 51-34 win on Friday to take over sole possession of the OVC race.
Fairland is now 17-2 overall and 11-1 in the league with two conference games to play. Chesapeake slipped to 15-3 and 10-2.
The slower pace had an effect on the shooting rhythm of both teams.
Fairland was 13-of-43 for 30.2 percent and 7-of-21 from 3-point range for 33 percent.
Despite playing on their home court, Chesapeake shot even worse. The Panthers were 9-of-46 from the field for 19.6 percent and a woeful 2-of-23 form behind the arc for 9 percent.
Jacob Polcyn had 13 points and 5 rebounds while Gavin Hunt got 11 points and 8 rebounds to pace the Dragons.
Clayton Thomas added 9 points and 5 rebounds while Jordan Williams pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Chesapeake was led by Levi Blankenship with 11 points and 5 rebounds. Austin Jackson had 8 points and 7 rebounds.
The plan to slow down the pace of the game was evident from the start as Fairland took an 8-2 first quarter lead behind a pair of 3-pointers by Thomas.
Blankenship had the lone Panthers’ basket.
The Dragons extended the lead to 25-10 at the half as Nate Thacker drained a pair of 3-pointers and Polcyn hit a 3-pointer and scored 5 points.
Travis Grim hit a 3-pointer and Blankenship converted 4-of-4 at the line for the Panthers.
Chesapeake outscored Fairland 8-5 in the third quarter to cut the spread to 30-18. Trent Dearth had 4 points for Chesapeake.
The Dragons used clutch foul shooting in the fourth quarter to secure the win. They made 16-of-19 free throws with Zander Schmidt and Polcyn going 4-for-4 and Hunt 4-for-6 as he scored 6 points.
Chesapeake went 5-for-5 at the line with Jackson scoring 6 points and Blankenship 5.
NEXT UP: Fairland goes to Huntington St. Joseph and Chesapeake host Southeastern on Tuesday.
Fairland 8 17 5 21 = 51
Chesapeake 2 8 8 16 = 34
FAIRLAND (17-2, 11-1): Jacob Polcyn 3-9 1-3 4-4 13, Aiden Porter 0-4 0-4 2-3 2, Gavin Hunt 3-7 0-0 5-7 11, Clayton Thomas 0-0 3-11 0-0 9, Jordan Williams 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Zander Schmidt 0-1 1-1 4-4 7, Nate Thacker 0-0 2-2 0-0 6, Tevin Taylor 0-0 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 13-43 18-22 51. 3-pt goals: 7-21. Rebounds: 38 (Williams 12, Hunt 8, Polcyn 5, Thomas 5). Assists: 7 (Polcyn 3, Williams 2). Steals: 4 (Hunt 2). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.
CHESAPEAKE (15-3, 10-2): Travis Grim 0-2 1-2 0-2 3, Nathan Cox 0-5 0-2 2-2 2, Levi Blankenship 3-5 0-11 5-5 Dilen Caldwell 0-1 1-3 1-2 4, Austin Jackson 3-5 0-1 2-2 8, Trent Dearth 1-4 0-2 4-4 6, Josh Cox 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Ethan Taylor 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Lemley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-46 14-17 34. 3-pt goals: 2-23. Rebounds: 17 (Jackson 7, Blankenship 5). Steals: 2. Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: None.