McClain's Kobe Penwell shoots over Fairfield's Wyatt Willey as the two battle in a non-conference game, Saturday. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
McClain's Kobe Penwell shoots over Fairfield's Wyatt Willey as the two battle in a non-conference game, Saturday. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
GREENFIELD — It was another winning effort for the McClain Tigers on Saturday night, this time when they defeated Highland County counterpart Fairfield at McClain High School by a 73-55 score.

The game was only a difference of six points at halftime, where McClain led by a 32-26 score, but a third frame where the Tigers doubled up the visiting Lions and then some by a 27-11 scoring differential led to the Tigers defending their home court.

The closest quarter played in the game came in the opening frame as the Lions were the leaders at the end of the opening eight minutes by a 16-15 score. Fairfield scored first with a point off a free throw by Ethan Saunders. The Tigers went ahead early on with a put-back basket by Ethan Cockerill, but James Bentley of Fairfield pushed the Lions back in front with points in the paint for a 3-2 advantage.

That lead went to 7-2 with points from Sam Buddelmeyer and Wyatt Willey, only to see the Tigers gain a three-point play at the 3:39 mark by Kobe Penwell to get back to within two points of tying the score. As the two teams continued to do battle, the Tigers eventually tied the score at 9-9 off a put-back basket by Cockerill with 2:42 left in the quarter.

McClain took the lead with fast-break points by Devin Carter, and after Cockerill took a charge for the Tigers, the quarter went on with a free throw by Carter for a 12-9 score with 1:54 on the clock.

Fairfield answered with two points by Buddelmeyer, but that was equaled with a jumper by Penwell for a 14-11 lead by the Tigers, Fairfield ended the first frame with a jumper by Bentley, followed by a layup by Austin Setty and a free throw from Setty for a 16-14 lead. With 26.6 on the clock, Penwell made one free throw to complete the first frame scoring for a 16-15 score in favor of the Lions.

McClain outscored the Lions, 17-10 in the second for a halftime advantage of 32-26. Fairfield opened the second frame with points from Tucker Watson, but Penwell answered for the Tigers, followed by a layup by Carter for a 19-18 McClain lead.

Carter led all scorers with 28 points for the Tigers, finishing with 12 two-point baskets and going 4-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Garrison Banks followed with a free-throw make, and Fairfield came back with a layup by Buddelmeyer, tying the score at 20. Buddelmeyer led the Lions with 23 points.

McClain began to force the Lions into foul trouble, as Banks took a charge, then sank a 3-pointer, and again, took another charge for a 23-20 lead with 4:13 left in the second. McClain followed up with points in transition by Carter, and then Banks cashed in with points in the paint for a 27-20 lead wth 2:46 left in the second frame.

Fairfield broke up the seven straight points with a bucket by Saunders, but Bryson Badgley scored points in the paint. Fairfield came back with a layup by Buddelmeyer and two points by Conner Priest to get to within three points of McClain’s lead. Carter ended the first half with a three-point play for McClain, as the foul gave Fairfield three players with three fouls in the first half.

The game completely changed in the third frame as the Tigers were on fire with 27 points in the quarter, while their defense held the Lions to 11 points in the eight-minute span for a 59-37 lead. The Tigers took another charge in the third with Banks taking at least his third charge of the game.

In the third quarter, the Tigers had five 3-pointers with three by Badgley, while Banks and Cockerill also made one in the quarter. Badgley ended the third by scoring nine points in the frame. Carter added eight points in the third, while Dalton Mischal and Penwell each scored two points in the quarter to go with their aforementioned 3-pointers from Cockerill and Banks.

Penwell ended the game with 12 points, while Badgley finished with 11 points.

Fairfield in the third had seven points by Buddelmeyer, five points by Willey and two points each from Watson and Saunders. Willey finished the game with 10 points.

The Lions outscored the Tigers, 18-14 in the fourth frame with points from Watson, Buddelmeyer, Willey, Saunders and Bentley. McClain had 11 points by Carter in the fourth, along with points from Trevor Newkirk and Zane Mustard.

For the game, the Tigers totaled 23 two-point baskets, six 3-pointers and were 9-of-18 from the free-throw line. Fairfield finished with 22 two-point field goals and were 11-of-21 from the free-throw line.

In the JV game, the Lions defeated McClain, 62-54. In the freshman game, the Tigers won over FHS, 51-19.