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Dragons win OVC crown

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Gage Salyers grabs a rebound from Fairland Dragons;’ Gavin Hunt during Friday’s game. Fairland won 46-33. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — It’s getting to be old hat for the Fairland Dragons.
Using a strong second half, the Dragons snapped a halftime tie and beat the Ironton Fighting Tigers 46-33 to clinch their fifth straight Ohio Valley Conference title on Friday.
Fairland (19-3, 12-1) can win the title outright by winning at Rock Hill on Saturday.
The Dragons were playing their first game in 10 days, but the Fighting Tigers were playing their third game in four days and it took a toll on their overall game.
Ironton (10-9, 8-6) had 20 turnovers and shot 14-of-39 from the field and just 1-of-10 from the arc.
“Fairland does a very good job and we were very dead legged and none of the teams we played have been slouches,” said Ironton coach P.J. Fitch.
“You have to have your best effort if you want to beat Fairland. They’re a really good team.”
Jacob Polcyn had 12 points and 5 rebounds while Clayton Thomas scored 12 points all on 3-pointers to lead the Dragons.
Reid Carrico had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Trent Hacker scored 10 points to pace Ironton.
Mason Mason had layup and Thomas a 3-pointer as Fairland took a 5-0 lead, but Carrico scored 4 points and Trent Milleson a basket to give Ironton a 6-5 lead.
Thomas hit another trey and it was 8-6 but Carrico’s putback tied the game to end the quarter.
A layup by Hacker, two layups by Jordan Grizzle and a free throw by Carrico and Ironton had a 15-8 lead.
But 3-pointers by Zander Schmidt and Aiden Porter tied the game at 16. Hacker followed up his own miss before Polcyn’s basket with 16 seconds left in the left the game tied at 18.
A 3-point play by Polcyn started the second half and Hacker answered with his own 3-point play to tie the game at 21.
A layup by Porter gave Fairland the lead for good and a 3-pointer by Thomas with 2:25 left in the quarter made it 28-21.
Carrico sank four straight foul shot but Zander Schmidt and Thomas got 3-pointers to end the quarter and it was 34-25.
Gage Salyers made a foul shot for Ironton to begin the fourth quarter but Fairland went on a 10-1 run capped by Polcyn’s 3-point play with 4:56 left and it was 44-28.
“We did not do a good job on the glass. We were trying to take away their two best guys and that opened some things up for them. We were standing and looking. We didn’t do a good job rebounding or taking care of the ball,” said Fitch.
UP NEXT: On Saturday, Ironton entertains Spring Valley at 2:30 p.m. and Fairland goes to Rock Hill at 7:30 p.m.
Ironton 8 10 7 8 = 33
Fairland 8 10 16 12 = 46
IRONTON (10-9, 8-6): Gage Salyers 1 0 1-2 3, Jordan Grizzle 2 0 0-0 4, Reid Carrico 2 0 7-8 11, Collin Freeman 0 0 0-0 0, Trent Milleson 1 1 0-0 5, Trent Hacker 4 0 2-2 10, Brayden Easterling 0 0 0-0 0, Landen Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Cameron Deere 0 0 0-0 0, Tayden Carpenter 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-39 10-13 33. 3-pt goals: 1-10. Rebounds: 10-O, 17-D = 27 (Carrico 10, Salyers 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 3 (Salyers 2). Steals: 4 (Hacker 2). Turnovers: 20. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.
FAIRLAND (19-2, 12-1): Jacob Polcyn 3 0 6-6 12, Aiden Porter 1 1 0-0 5, Gavin Hunt 2 0 2-2 6, Clayton Thomas 0 4 0-0 12, Jordan Williams 1 0 1-2 3, Zander Schmidt 0 2 0-0 6, Mason Manns 1 0 0-0 2, Nate Thacker 0 0 0-0 0, Cameron Mayo 0 0 0-0 0, Steeler Leep 0 0 0-0 0, J.D. Leep 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-43 9-10 46. 3-pt goals: 7-19. Rebounds: 9-O, 17-D = 26 (Porter 5, Polcyn 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 5 (Williams 2). Steals: 8 (Porters 5). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.