Hinkle rallies Lady Dragons to district title

Published 11:37 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

Fairland Lady Dragons’ Tomi Hinkle (23) hits a fallaway shot as she scores 2 of her game-high 24 points to lead a fourth quarter comeback and a 50-47 win over the Eastern Brown Lady Warriors in Friday’s Division 3 district championship game. Hinkle also eclipsed the career 1,000-point scoring milestone with her performance. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker


WAVERLY — It has been said that a team that lives by the 3, dies by the 3.

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The Fairland Lady Dragons were dying a slow death on Friday as they made just 2-of-22 3-point shot attempts over the first three quarters.

Trailing 30-26 going into the fourth quarter, Tomi Hinkle hit two long 3-pointers and Reece Barnitz also had a trey that helped ignite the offense and the Lady Dragons rallied for a 50-47 win over the Eastern Brown Lady Warriors to win the Division 3 district title.

Hinkle had 24 points including career point No. 1,000, 16 rebounds and 3 assists to carry the Lady Dragons who shot just 11-of-44 over the first three quarter for 25 percent and finished 17-of-54 for the game for 32 percent.

Bree Allen had 11 points and 8 rebounds for the Lady Dragons (23-2) who play at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Logan against Fort Frye.

The first half was about defense as Eastern Brown held a scant 18-17 lead at the break.

Bree Allen’s layup gave Fairland the first basket of the game and the Lady Dragons only lead of the half.

A layup by MacKenzie Gloff gave the Lady Warriors a 7-4 lead but a trey by Hinkle tied the score.

It was the only 3-pointer the Lady Dragons made in the first half as they hit just 1-of-11.

A foul shot by Rylee Leonard and a layup by Gloff put the lead at 10-7 to end the quarter.

Gloff’s layup to begin the second quarter gave the Lady Warriors their biggest lead of the half at 12-7, but back-to-back layups by Hinkle and Kamryn Barnitz cut the deficit to 14-13.

A 15-footer by Torie Utter made it 18-15 but two foul shots by Hinkle with 34 seconds to go in the half set the score going into the locker room.

Gloff had a putback and then completed a 3-point play when she made a putback of her own miss and was fouled as she put Eastern up 23-17. A layup by Utter gave the Lady Warriors their biggest lead of the game at 25-17.

But Eastern went away from Gloff and Hinkle made back-to-back layups before a 3-pointer by Leonard. Reece Barnitz made a triple and Hinkle another layup and Fairland trailed just 28-26 with 2:08 on the clock.

Gloff’s layup before the end of the quarter pushed the lead to 30-26.

A foul shot by Reece Barnitz and a layup by Kylee Bruce started the fourth quarter and a layup by Gloff gave Eastern its final lead at 32-29.

Bruce had another layup and Hinkle hit a long 3-pointer as Fairland took the lead for good at 34-32 with 5:30 to play.

The Lady Dragons opened up a 48-40 lead with a minute to play after Allen and Hinkle each made two foul shots.

But Fairland struggled at the foul line and had trouble putting the game away as they converted just 1-of-6 free throws and the Lady Warriors got a long 3-pointer from Leonard and a 3-point play from Mya Hamilton with 18 seconds left.

After two missed foul shots by Fairland, Leonard’s long 3-point attempt missed the mark and Gloff got the rebound and attempted a hurry-up shot only to be blocked by Bruce.

Gloff led the Lady Warriors with 17 points — only 2 in the fourth quarter — and 16 rebounds. Leonard had 11 points and Hamilton added 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Fairland 7 10 9 24 = 50

E. Brown 10 8 12 17 = 47

FAIRLAND (23-2): Reece Barnitz 0 2 1-2 7, Bree Allen 4 0 3-4 11, Tomi Hinkle 5 3 5-13 24, Kamryn Barnitz 1 0 0-0 2, Kylee Bruce 3 0 0-1 6, Kaylee Sawyer 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-54 9-20. 50. 3-pt goals: 5-26. Rebounds: 11-O, 23-D = 34 (Hinkle 14, Allen 8). Team/deadball rebounds: 8. Assists: 6 (Hinkle 3). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.

EASTERN BROWN (18-4): Kiersten Bailey 0 0 0-0 0, Torie Utter 4 0 0-0 8, Emma Prine 0 0 0-0 0, Rylee Leonard 0 3 2-4 11, Bailey Dotson 0 0 1-2 1, MacKenzie Dotson 0 0 0-0 0, Mya Hamilton 3 0 4-5 10, Mary Litzinger 0 0 0-0 0, MacKenzie Gloff 8 0 1-1 17, Izzy Barber 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-56 8-12 47. 3-pt goals: 3-12. Rebounds: 14-O, 28-D = 42 (Gloff 16, Hamilton 8). Team/deadball rebounds: 8. Assists: 10 (Dotson 4). Turnovers: 12. Fouled: 20. Fouled out: Dotson (4th).