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Warriors final hurdle for Fairland to advance to state tournament

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The Ohio Div. III Region 11 finals are set with one southern Ohio school remaining in the Fairland Dragons.
Fairland is coming off a 68-45 victory over Fort Frye and moving on to Worthington Christian.
The Dragons are 21-4 and led by the Southeast District Player of the year in Aiden Porter.
Porter, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, is averaging 22.4 points per game.
Clayton Thomas, a 5-10 senior, was named to the second team All-District and averages just under 14 points per. Jacob Polcyn rounded out the all-district selections for the Dragons as a third teamer averaging 9.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. The 6-4 senior scored 23 points in the regional semifinals game.
The other two Fairland starters are 6-1senior Gavin Hunt and 6-4 senior Jordan Williams. Hunt is the go to defender and Williams is the team’s leading rebounder.
First off the bench for the Dragons is 6-1 junior Zander Schmidt, 6-3 senior Nate Thacker, and 6-2 sophomore JD Thacker.
The Warriors are 26-1 after their 50-47 come-from-behind win over the Wheelersburg Pirates in the regional semifinals. It marks their 16th straight win.
Worthington Christian is led by 6-foot-4 junior guard D.J. Moore who averages 17.7 points a game and was named the Central District Player of the Year. He has already signed with Liberty University.
Named to the all-district second team was 6-3 senior guard Tyler Kindberg who scores at a 13.7 clip.
The other starters are 6-5 freshman forward Sam Johnson, 6-4 senior forward Kobe Buford and 6-5 senior center Isaiah Hazelwood.
The top players off the bench are 6-2 junior guard Tommy Anthony and 6-foot senior guard Drw Faieta.
The two teams have a common opponent with Fairland and Worthington Christian both playing Buckeye Valley this season. The Dragons lost 70-61 while the Warriors winning twice, 47-39 and then 58-41.
In the win over Wheelersburg in Wednesday’s first game, Faieta hit the game-tying shot with under two minutes to play and then the game-winning 3-pointer with one second left on the clock
Fiaeta only played in the first and fourth quarters.
Wheelersburg had the game’s biggest lead at 47-38 with 4:25 to play but didn’t score again as the Pirates were guilty of five turnovers in the quarter.
The game had 12 lead changes and was tied on three occasions at 22, 37 and 47. The Warriors biggest lead was 5 points in the first quarter.
The regional championship game will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Chillicothe at Southeastern High school.
(Jimmy Walker contributed to this article)