Lady Dragons use ‘lockdown’ defense to get win

Published 2:51 am Friday, December 17, 2021

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PEDRO— Click.

That was the sound of the Fairland Lady Dragons’ defense as the lock snapped in a 49-22 win over the Rock Hill Redwomen in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Thursday.

Fairland coach Jon Buchanan said his team had extra motivation as it faced a Rock Hill team needing a win to throw the OVC into a three-way tie.

“There was a lot of hype before the game. Rock Hill had gained a lot kids in the offseason and they were improved and their record showed how much they had improved. I think our kids recognized that and we were really locked in,” said Buchanan.

“In years past, we had a lot of trouble coming out here and locking in. For us to come out here and be locked in on both ends of the floor was big.”

Kaylee Salyer hit a 3-pointer as four different players scored and Fairland (7-2, 6-0) held a 12-10 first quarter lead.

Emma Harper hit a pair of 3-pointers for the Redwomen.

But Fairland went into lockdown mode in the second quarter by limiting Rock Hill to just a basket each by Hope Easterlng and Hazley Matthews.

Bree Allen scored 8 points, Tomi Hinkle had 6 points and Kylee Bruce hit a trey as Fairland opened up a 29-14 halftime lead.

“Defensively, we did a great job. We talked to our kids about how hard it would be to guard Hazley and Hadyn (Bailey). They’re really good offensive players,” said Buchanan.

“Emma Harper got a couple of 3s in the first half, so we made some adjustments to not leave Emma and not letting her hit some open 3s. After we played the early part of the game, we did a pretty good job.”

Reece Barnitz knocked down a pair of triples in the third quarter while Hinkle added 4 points and the Lady Dragons extended their lead to 43-20.

Barnitz scored all 6 of Fairland’s points in the fourth quarter while Rock Hill could only manage on basket.

“Not only did we play well defensively, when they shot the ball we rebounded the ball. That was a big emphasis. They have some big, strong kids and Bree and Kylee did a great job rising to the occasion,” said Buchanan.

Rock Hill coach Eric Bailey had nothing but praise for the Lady Dragons.

“Jon is a good coach and did a good job. They have a good team and they played well. They were the better team,” said Bailey. “We played well early, but we couldn’t sustain anything.”

Allen had 14 points while Hinkle and Barnitz had 12 each.

Matthews scored 8 for Rock Hill (6-2, 4-2).

Fairland 12 17 14 6 = 49

Rock Hill 10 4 6 2 = 22

FAIRLAND (7-2, 6-0): Reece Barnitz 3 2 0-0 12, Makena Black 0 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Salyer 0 1 0-0 3, Bree Allen 5 0 4-7 14, Tomi Hinkle 5 0 2-2 12, Kamryn Barnitz 1 0 1-2 3, Hannah Taylor 0 0 0-0 0, Kylee Bruce 1 1 0-0 5. Totals: 14 4 7-12 49. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.

ROCK HILL (6-2, 5-2): Aleigha Matney 1 0 0-0 2, Hayleigh Risner 0 0 0-0 0, Hope Easterling 2 0 0-1 4, Hazley Matthews 2 0 4-6 8, Hadyn Bailey 0 0 2-4 2, Josie Kidd 0 0 0-0 0, Emma Harper 0 2 0-0 6. Totals: 5 2 6-11 22. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.