Lady Dragons topple Redwomen to win OVC title outright

Published 10:52 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

Fairland Lady Dragons’ Bree Allen (22) fights through the defense of Rock Hill Redwomen’s Hope Easterling to score during Thursday’s game. Fairland won 67-35 to clinch the Ohio Valley Conference championship. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)


Rock Hill Redwomen’s Hope Eastering (11) gets off a shot against the defense of Fairland Lady Dragons’ Addison Godby during Thursday’s game. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)


Rock Hill Redwomen’s J’lynn Risner (44) takes a jumper as Fairland Lady Dragons’ Reece Barnitz (4) tries to break her concentration during Thursday’s game. Fairland won 67-35. (Josh Wilson Photography/Facebook)


Fairland Lady Dragons’ Isa Taliaferro (1) eyes the basket as Rock Hill Redwomen’s J’lynn Risner (44) defends during Thursday’s OVC game. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)


Fairland Lady Dragons’ Tomi Hinkle pulls up and takes a long 3-point goal. (Josh Wilson Photography/Facebook)

By Jim Walker

PEDRO — The Fairland Lady Dragons set the bar this season in the Ohio Valley Conference and it looks like they’re the only ones who could reach it.

The Lady Dragons completed an unbeaten run through the league with little challenge as they beat the Rock Hill Redwomen 67-35 on Thursday to win the OVC outright and are now 20-0 overall.

Fairland coach Jon Buchanan’s teams have won 9 league titles in 13 years and now have their ninth 20-win season. The Lady Dragons now have a 37-game winning streak in the league.

“They’re the gold standard. That’s where you want to get your program at. They play hard and smart and you have to match that,” said Rock Hill coach Eric Bailey.

“They earned this win and they earned the league title. You have to tip your hat to them.”

Kamryn Barnitz scored 17 points including three 3-pointers to lead a balanced offense.

Bailey Russell scored 11 points, Addison Godby had 9, Tom Hinkle 8 and Bree Allen 7.

Hazley Matthews scored 10 points, Lola Hankins 9 and Hadyn Bailey 8 for Rock Hill (16-6, 12-2).

J’lynn Risner scored the first 4 points of the game for Rock Hill  a 4-3 lead.

But Russell hit a 3-pointer as Fairland went up 13-12 and never trailed again.

“We were able to handle their press early and and we were in the game for about a quarter and a half,” said Bailey.

“They stretched the lead before the half and then came out and hit three 3-pointers to start the second half and get the lead up there and they just kept it there.”

Fairland had 6 different players scored in the second quarter with Bree Allen, Tomi Hinkle and Barnitz hit 3-pointers while Addison Godby and Russell scored 4 points each and the lead was 36-18 at the half.

The Redwomen had just 2 field goals and a free throw in the quarter.

“We didn’t shoot well at all. We had some good looks, but we just didn’t hit the shots,” said coach Bailey.

Hinkle, Barnitz and Kylee Bruce all hit 3-pointers in a row to begin the third quarter  as Fairland opened up a 53-24 cushion.

Matthews scored 4 points and Hadyn Bailey had a basket to account for Rock Hill’s total.

Kamryn Barnitz scored 6 points and Reece Barnitz 4 as Fairland outscored the Redwomen 14-11 in the fourth quarter.

“I’m still proud of my girls. They have played a tough schedule this year and they have played hard every game,” said coach Bailey.

Fairland    17 19 17 14 = 67

Rock Hill 13 5 6 11 = 35

FAIRLAND (20-0, 14-0): Taegen Leep 0 0 0-0 0, Isa Taliferro 3 0 0-0 6, Addison Godby 4 0 1-2 9, Reece Barnitz 2 0 0-0 4, Audrey Stephenson 0 0 0-0 0, Bree Allen 1 1 2-2 7, Tomi Hinkle 1 2 0-0 8, Kamryn Bailey 3 3 2-2 17, Bailey Russell 4 1 0-0 11, Kylee Bruce 1 1 0-0 5. Totals: 19 8 5-6 67. Fouls: 6. Fouled out: None.

ROCK HILL (16-6, 12-2): Hadyn Bailey 3 0 2-2 8, Hope Easterling 1 0 0-0 2, Hazley Matthews 5 0 0-0 10, Hayleigh Risner 1 0 0-0 2, J’lynn Risner 2 0 0-2 4, Lola Hankins 1 2 1-2 9. Totals: 13 2 3-6 35. Fouls: 6. Fouled out: None.