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Dragons return to action with offensive explosion to win big

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The Fairland Dragons have a problem, but it would be a good problem to have. Their bench nearly outscored the starters in a 78-46 Ohio Valley Conference win over arch-rival Chesapeake on Wednesday night.
The Dragons have been off since Jan. 15 due to COVID protocol. However, that didn’t soften the flame.
Fairland (11-3, 8-0) jumped out to a 17-8 lead behind a combined 15 points from Clayton Thomas and Aiden Porter in the first quarter. Chesapeake’s Ben Bragg paced the Panthers with 4 points.
When it started raining 3-pointers from the Dragons in the second quarter, it poured on the Panthers as they had no answer for numerous Fairland options. The Dragons knocked down 5 triples and Nate Thacker was a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc off the bench.
Chesapeake (7-8, 4-7) struggled to find their rhythm and didn’t get their first basket until the 4:41 mark of the second quarter as they were outscored 27-6 and lost control of the game trailing 44-14 at the break.
“We scored a lot off of the extra pass and we did a great job of rebounding,” said Fairland coach Nathan Speed.
“I was pleased with how well we played after the layoff.”
The extra pass was indeed good to the Dragons who assisted on 18 of their 29 field goals in the game.
Nathan Cox got going for the Panthers in the third quarter with 6 straight points from the midrange, but too little too late for the young Chesapeake squad who were missing starters Travis Grim and Devon Bellomy.
Freshman Caleb Schneider scored a team-high 14 points and Dannie Maynard, also a freshman, scored 7 points.
Zander Schmidt took off where Thacker left it in the second half knocking down four 3-pointers as the bench mob combined for 29 points.
Aiden Porter totaled a game high 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds for Fairland and said, “Playing against our rivals helped a lot in getting us locked in. I think that’s the best we’ve played together all year.”
Chesapeake scored 22 points in the final quarter outscoring the Dragons, but couldn’t make the push they needed to get back into the game. They will travel to Portsmouth on Saturday.
Fairland will host Rock Hill on Friday.
Chesapeake 8 6 10 22 = 46
Fairland 17 27 17 17 = 78
CHESAPEAKE (7-8, 4-7): Caleb Schneider 3-6 1-8 5-5 14, Nathan Cox 5-12 0-1 0-0 10, Levi Blankenship 3-7 0-3 0-0 6, Dannie Maynard 2-4 1-4 0-0 7, Ben Bragg 2-3 0-1 1-2 5, Jacob Lemely 2-2 0-1 0-0 4. Totals: 17-34 2-18 6-7 46. Rebounds: 25 (Blankenship 8). Assists: 7 (Schneider 3). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: none.
FAIRLAND (11-3, 8-0): Jacob Polcyn 2-4 0-1 0-0 4, Aiden Porter 4-6 2-4 4-4 18, Gavin Hunt 2-3 1-3 2-2 9, Clayton Thomas 4-5 1-9 3-3 14, JD Thacker 1-2 0-1 0-0 2, Jordan Williams 2-3 0-0 0-0 4, Zander Schmidt 1-4 4-5 0-0 14, Nate Thacker 1-2 3-3 0-0 11, Steeler Leep 1-1 0-0 0-0 2. Totals: 18-30 11-26 9-9 78. Rebounds: 37 (Porter 7, Thomas 7). Assists: 18 (Thomas 4). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: none.