Dillow, Murphy give Lady Hornets key OVC win over Lady Dragons
COAL GROVE — ‘The block heard around the world,’ as Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ coach Rick Roach said, ensured a victory on Thursday night.
Kaleigh Murphy blocked the final shot of the game by Fairland to crush their hopes of a winning shot at the buzzer.
The Lady Hornets evened the score as they narrowly edged the Fairland Lady Dragons to take over the lead in the Ohio Valley Conference, 53-52.
Coal Grove is now 11-1 overall and 8-1 in the OVC. Fairland is 5-1 and 4-1.
Fairland snuck by Coal Grove in their first matchup of the year, but different led to different results.
The Lady Hornets held Fairland without a field goal in the first quarter to take an early 13-5 lead. The Lady Dragons knocked down 5-of-6 free throws to get on the board.
Coal Grove struggled in the second quarter as Fairland took the lead just before halftime with the help of Kylee Bruce. Bruce came off the bench and scored 5 quick points to push the Lady Dragons out front 20-18.
“I think we made some good adjustments in the second half. We wanted to pound the ball in a little bit. Two good ball teams. I could see both of us deep into the tournament and maybe see each other in the district tournament,” said Roach.
The adjustments paid off for the Lady Hornets, but the game continued to go back and forth with lead changes throughout the second half.
Fairland’s Tomi Hinkle busted two 3-pointers in the third, but Addi Dillow and Murphy combined for 16 points and tied the game heading into the final quarter 38-38.
Dillow recorded just 6 points in the first half, but knew she needed to pick it up in the final period.
“I knew I needed to fix my shot and get to the basket to draw some fouls, which we did and got them into some foul trouble. I think it forced them to back off and ultimately got us the win,” said Dillow.
Roach had some words for his guard at the half and his words worked.
“Dillow is like my kid. She is my neighbor and I told her she was playing like crap. I told her she is a thousand-point scorer so act like a thousand-point scorer,” he said.
The senior scored 20 points in the second half including three triples in the fourth quarter. She had a game high 26 points and added 6 rebounds as well.
Fairland wouldn’t go away that easy, however. Trailing by 5 points with just over a minute left in the game, Hinkle scores a layup and then Emma Marshall steals the inbound pass and kicks out to Reece Barnitz for a 3-pointer to tie it with 53 seconds left.
Hinkle led Fairland with 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Coal Grove elected to take a timeout and that’s when Dillow shot and made a 3-pointer to go up by 3 points with under 20 seconds remaining.
Hinkle made a lay-up and then a quick timeout by Fairland to set up a final possession after the foul. Dillow missed the bonus free throw and the Dragons rushed it down the court.
The Lady Dragons swung the ball around the perimeter to the corner where Murphy made the play of the game.
She sprinted out for a close-out and swatted the ball out of bounds to secure the win for the Lady Hornets.
Murphy finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists.
On Monday, Fairland will host South Point while Coal Grove will travel to Gallipolis.
Fairland 5 15 18 14 = 52
Coal Grove 13 5 20 15 = 53
FAIRLAND (5-1, 4-1): Emma Marshall 0 0 1-4 1, Reece Barnitz 0 2 0-0 6, Katie Brumfield 0 1 0-0 3, Kylee Bruce 3 1 0-2 9, Bree Allen 1 0 4-4 6, Tomi Hinkle 6 2 3-4 21, Libby Judge 0 0 0-0 0, Miaa Howard 0 0 0-0 0, Kirsten Orsbon 1 0 4-5 6. Totals: 11 6 11-15 52. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
COAL GROVE (11-1, 8-1): Kelsey Fraley 0 0 0-0 0, Elli Holmes 1 0 0-0 2, Addi Dillow 7 4 0-4 26, Kaleigh Murphy 4 2 2-4 16, Abbey Hicks 1 0 0-0 2, Rylee Harmon 0 0 3-4 3, Kenadee Keaton 0 0 0-0 0, Jaidyn Griffith 2 0 0-0 4. Totals: 21-66 5-12 53. 3-pt goals: 6. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.