Fairfield's Lauren Arnold drives down the court while being defended by Whiteoak's Megan Botts, Monday evening at Whiteoak High School. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Fairfield's Lauren Arnold drives down the court while being defended by Whiteoak's Megan Botts, Monday evening at Whiteoak High School. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
MOWRYSTOWN — As the tournament brackets have been set and the regular season nears a close, the Fairfield Lady Lions are hitting on all cylinders. That pace of winning continued Monday night as they hit the road and traveled to Whiteoak to defeat the Lady Wildcats, 76-19.

The Southern Hills Athletic Conference game — Fairfield’s fourth consecutive win — was the second time these two programs met on the season, and on Monday the Lady Lions gained the season sweep, due in large part to a first quarter where they took complete control and never looked back by outscoring the Lady Wildcats, 31-5 in the opening eight minutes.

“In a game like this, we want to work on our man-to-man defense, and in the second half we wanted to work on some zone defense. We were able to get every girl in the scoring column and to play some solid minutes,” Fairfield head coach Chad Hamilton said. “That is important to us this time of the year. Everyone comes to practice and puts the work in, and it is nice to have a game where everybody can get in.

“This time of the year, it is hard to get in the gym for practices, so you would like to have more days off for practice as for rest purposes, so it is important in a game like this to get some time on the floor and work on some things you normally don’t get to work on.”

Fairfield (10-2, 16-4) opened the first with a 20-0 run against their Highland County counterpart, and that run consisted of points by Samara Cannon, Brianna Barnes, Blake Adams, Grace Shope and Lauren Arnold for a 20-0 advantage with around 3:00 left in the opening quarter.

Some highlights from that aforementioned 20-point scoring run to open the game included Cannon scoring the first points of the game at the 6:46 mark, followed by free throws by Adams, points in the paint from Barnes, a three-point play by Arnold at the 4:10 mark and the final points of the run were off a 3-pointer by Shope at the top of the key.

Whiteoak (0-11, 1-19) scored their first points of the game with a put-back basket by Courtney Gross with 2:43 left in the first frame. Following two points by Shope, Whiteoak had a 3-pointer from Megan Botts at the 1:53 mark, as she and teammate Gross each finished with five points.

FHS ended the first frame with seven straight points, beginning with a steal and layup by Lyndee Spargur, a layup from Barnes (with the steal and assist from Ashley Sowards) and a 3-pointer from Kami Magee capped off the Fairfield scoring for a 31-5 lead.

For the game, the Lady Lions were led by Shope with 21 points. Magee also scored in double figures with 10 points, as did Barnes, who also collected 10 points in the win.

The Fairfield defense held Whiteoak scoreless in the second frame, winning the eight-minute quarter at 16-0 and taking a 47-5 lead at halftime. Fairfield had eight points in the quarter from Shope, while Magee added four points in the second. Cannon and Spargur each scored two points in the the second frame.

FHS added 16 more points in the third with Cannon sinking a 3-pointer, Arnold making a layup and two free throws and Carli Reiber connecting with a three-point play with 1:19 left in the third, increasing the FHS lead to 64-10. Arnold finished the game with seven points, and Cannon totaled nine points.

The third frame also saw Molly Thackston, Adams and Barnes all score two points each as well, with Thackston’s points coming at the 2:18 mark of the quarter. Adams ended the game with eight points.

The third frame was the highest scoring frame for the Lady Wildcats with Cylee Bratton netting six of the nine WHS points scored in the third, while Gross scored three points off a two-point basket and a free-throw conversion.

In the fourth, the host Lady ’Cats tallied five points with Bratton scoring three points in the frame, as she finished with a team-high nine points for WHS. Also in the fourth, Botts made two free throws.

Fairfield had four players score points in the fourth with Shope adding four points in the final frame, along with Magee making a 3-pointer. Adams made two two-point baskets in the final eight minutes of action, and Barnes also scored two points in the fourth as FHS outscored the Lady ’Cats, 13-5 in the final frame.

WHS finished 4-of-10 from the free-throw line, and FHS was 6-of-8.

No JV game was played Monday night.

Next for the Lady Lions is a game on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at home vs. Portsmouth Clay and Thursday, Feb. 8 FHS wraps up the regular season vs. Lynchburg-Clay at home.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, the Lady Lions will play in a Division III Sectional game at Valley against Portsmouth.

Whiteoak plays again on Wednesday, Feb. 7 vs. Eastern Brown, followed by another game Wednesday, Feb. 8 at home vs. Manchester. Their Division IV sectional game is set for Thursday, Feb. 16 against Paint Valley at Northwest.