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Dragons wrap up 6th straight OVC title

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The Fairland Dragons must be feeling a bit ‘Like Mike’ after clinching the Ohio Valley Conference title outright on Monday night for the sixth straight time.
Gallia Academy had hopes of being the ‘Bad Boy Pistons’ with their physicality, but fell way short in a 65-37 rout by the Dragons.
“Winning the conference means a lot, but at the end of the day it only matters what we do after the regular season,” said Fairland’s Clayton Thomas.
Thomas has his heart set on bigger goals with a deep run in the Ohio div. III basketball tournament. The senior guard scored a team-high 14 points in the win.
The Blue Devils hung around for a quarter, but could not keep up with the high scoring Dragon offense. Gallia trailed just 17-10 after a quarter of play and established the paint with 6’6” center Isaac Clary who finished with a game high 15 points.
Aiden Porter helped grow the Fairland lead with 5 points in the second period as they pushed ahead to a 29-17 halftime advantage.
Zander Schmidt had another big game off the bench for the Dragons as he shared team high honors with Thomas at 14 points. The junior guard missed just one shot on the night while sinking two triples. He also led the team in rebounds with 7.
After the big quarter from Schmidt, Gallia found themselves behind 44-27 to start the fourth and both teams began to clear their benches for the final quarter as they began moving their thought process to the tournament.
“It’s tough every night and especially the second time through. There’s a lot of good coaches and it’s always competitive. So, it’s definitely a good accomplishment for our team,” said Fairland head coach Nathan Speed on the team’s sixth consecutive OVC title.
“Now we have to get ready for the tournament and focus on cleaning up some ball movement and defensive rotations.”
Fairland will host Portsmouth on Friday in the sectional championship.
Gallipolis 10 7 10 10 = 37
Fairland 17 12 15 21 = 65
GALLIPOLIS (8-9, 5-8): Cooper Davis 0-3 1-2 2-2 5, Kenyon Franklin 1-4 0-2 2-2 4, Noah Vanco 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Brody Fellure 2-8 0-1 2-4 6, Drake Phillips 1-1 0-2 0-0 2, Wesley Saunders 0-1 0-1 0-0 0, Carson Call 1-2 0-1 0-0 2, Connor Walter 0-0 0-0 3-4 3, Isaac Clary 7-13 0-0 1-4 15. Totals: 12-32 1-11 10-16 37. Rebounds: 21 (Clary 6). Assists: 4. Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: none.
FAIRLAND (16-4, 13-1): Jacob Polcyn 4-8 0-1 1-2 9, Aiden Porter 1-6 2-6 2-2 10, Gavin Hunt 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Clayton Thomas 2-3 3-5 1-2 14, JD Thacker 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Jordan Williams 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Zander Schmidt 3-4 2-2 2-2 14, Chase Allen 0-0 1-1 0-0 3, Nate Thacker 3-4 1-3 0-1 9, Will Davis 2-3 0-0 0-0 4. Totals: 16-31 9-19 6-9 65. Rebounds: 32 (Schmidt 7). Assists: 13 (Porter 5). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: none.