Dragons rout Cadets to reach regional finals
CHILLICOTHE — Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?
Because the Fairland Dragons are back where they left off a season ago after the worldwide pandemic known as COVID ended the big dance early.
This season has been known as the revenge tour for the big green faithful and the Dragons handled business in a 68-45 win over Fort Frye in the Ohio Div. III regional semifinals on Wednesday at Southeastern High School.
Jacob Polcyn and Aiden Porter combined for 44 points in the game. The dynamic duo scored 49 points together last season in the regional semi-final game versus Ridgewood.
“I love tournament Jake (Polcyn),” said a chuckling Fairland head coach Nathan Speed. “I really do.”
Polcyn totaled a game high 23 points while grabbing 7 rebounds for Fairland.
The senior had a very similar performance to last season when he scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the regional semis.
“I felt like once we settled down defensively and started working the ball inside-out everything fell into place. Jacob established himself early and Jordan (Williams) too. That was huge in opening everything up for everyone else,” added Speed.
Fort Frye took the early lead behind Nic Hart, who scored 9 points out of the gate for the Cadets, but their advantage wouldn’t last long.
The Dragons went on a huge 19-2 run in the second quarter that came from a barrage of 3-pointers.
Polcyn, Porter, Clayton Thomas and Zander Schmidt all buried one from deep to take a 33-24 lead at the break. Jordan Williams also scored 6 points in the quarter.
Porter knocked down another pair of triples in the third quarter on his way to 21 points in the game and helped extend the Dragon lead.
Thomas contributed in a different way than usual however. The senior guard is known for his limitless range from three, but he showed off his versatility as he dished out a game high 8 assists.
The Cadets struggles continued in the third quarter and they fell behind 49-35 heading into the final quarter of play.
Hart finished with a team high 20 points for Fort Frye and grabbed 7 rebounds in the loss.
The fourth quarter was all Fairland’s as they kept the foot on the gas for the majority of the period before clearing the bench.
The Dragons will take on Worthington Christian (26-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Warriors beat Wheelersburg on a last second buzzer beater 50-47 in the regional semis. The game will be played at Southeastern High School.
Fort Frye 16 8 11 10 = 45
Fairland 11 22 16 19 = 68
FORT FRYE (20-3): Nic Hart 6-11 2-6 2-3 20, Owen Brown 0-2 1-3 0-0 3, Luke Huffman 3-4 0-2 0-0 6, Braden Medley 2-4 0-0 0-0 4, Kelton Fogle 4-8 0-3 0-0 8, Dawson Layton 1-1 0-0 0-1 2, Dylan Hart 1-1 0-0 0-0 2. Totals: 17-31 3-14 2-4 45. Rebounds: 21 (N Hart 7). Assists: 6 (Huffman 3). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: none.
FAIRLAND (21-4): Jacob Polcyn 7-10 2-4 3-3 23, Aiden Porter 3-5 5-7 0-0 21, Gavin Hunt 4-6 0-0 0-0 8, Clayton Thomas 1-2 1-6 0-0 5, Jordan Williams 4-6 0-0 0-0 8, Zander Schmidt 0-3 1-1 0-0 3, Nate Thacker 0-1 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-33 9-18 3-3 68. Rebounds: 27 (Polcyn 7). Assists: 16 (Thomas 8). Turnovers: 6. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: none.