Dragons rally in 2nd half to win district

Published 11:33 pm Friday, March 5, 2021

Fairland Dragons’ Gavin Hunt lays up a shot over Adena Warriors’ Logan Bennett during Friday’s Division 3 district title game. Fairland won 56-48. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)


Fairland Dragons’ seniors Nate Thacker, Jordan Williams, Gavin Hunt, Clayton Thomas and Jacob Polcyn display the district championship trophy. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Chance Short

IRONTON — The Fairland Dragons are getting really good at halftime adjustments as they came from behind to beat the Adena Warriors in the Ohio Division III District finals on Friday night at the Conley Center.
Adena led 26-19 at the half and held the Dragons without a 3-pointer throughout the first two quarters. Fairland’s adjustments at the half proved to be too much as they defeated the Warriors down the stretch 56-48.
“We have been in this position before. I think we were in the same position last year,” said Fairland head coach Nathan Speed on being down at the half. “I just told them to focus on getting stops and not to worry about getting it all back at once.”
Fairland chose to override the decision and get it back all at once anyways. The Dragons darted out to a 9-0 run in the third quarter for their first lead of the game at 28-26 with 4:12 remaining in the third.
Aiden Porter sparked that run with 8 points in the quarter after only scoring 4 in the first half.
“I was forcing a lot in the first half and our offense was sloppy. Once we started making shots, it’s like everything fell into place,” said Porter. “It came down to who wanted it more, and we did for sure.”
The junior guard finished with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Jacob Polcyn added 19 points for the Dragons while snagging 4 boards and dishing out 3 assists.
The Adena Warriors scored just 6 points in the third, and struggled coming out of the gates of the fourth to make things worse.
The Dragons went on another big run opening up the final quarter. They jetted out on a 10-0 run that included two triples from way downtown by Clayton Thomas.
Adena found themselves down 44-32 with 5:12 remaining in the game. Porter and Polcyn closed the game out from the free throw line as they went a combined 6-for-6.
“Once we started improving our help defense and sending the double team at (Logan) Bennett, and offensively just cutting you know things started swinging our way. We went to Jacob (Polcyn) back at the top of the key and he made great decisions all night. He really played well,” added Speed.
Logan Bennett led the Warriors with 21 points and 4 rebounds while Preston Sykes added 20 points and 5 rebounds.
Fairland will have a rematch with Fort Frye in the regional semifinals on Wednesday at Southeastern high school. Beverly beat the Dragons earlier this season 54-53.
Adena 16 10 6 16 = 48
Fairland 11 8 15 22 = 56
ADENA (22-3): Nate Throckmorten 0-2 0-1 0-0 0, Jarrett Garrison 1-4 0-1 0-2 2, Preston Sykes 6-11 2-4 2-2 20, Logan Bennett 7-10 2-4 1-1 21, Jacob Shipley 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Dillan McDonald 0-1 1-1 2-2 5. Totals: 14-29 5-11 5-7 48. Rebounds: 17 (Sykes 5). Turnovers: 6. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: Throckmorten.
FAIRLAND (20-4): Jacob Polcyn 8-10 0-1 3-3 19, Aiden Porter 8-14 0-0 4-4 20, Gavin Hunt 3-5 0-2 0-1 6, Clayton Thomas 1-1 3-10 0-0 11, Jordan Williams 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Zander Schmidt 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Nate Thacker 0-0 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 20-32 3-14 7-8 56. Rebounds: 24 (Porter 6, Williams 6). Turnovers: 5. Fouls: 6. Fouled out: none.

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