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Improvement continues for Lions; defeat SCOL-leading Panthers

Lead Summary
The Highland County Press-
LEESBURG — For the second consecutive day, the Fairfield Lions left a high school basketball gym on the winning side. One night after defeating Highland County rival Whiteoak, the Lions defeated the South Central Ohio League co-leader, Miami Trace, 64-56 at Grandle Gymnasium.

The difference of the non-league game was the third quarter when the Lions outscored MT 19-5. Miami Trace outscored FHS 22-16 in the final eight minutes.

The Lions have now won four of their last five games.

In the opening quarter, FHS had three 3-pointers combined from Chris Cox and Quentin Williams, with the Lions gaining the lead to start the game.

"We came out firing in the first quarter. They hurt us on the boards, but we worked the ball around and looked for a shot," FHS head coach Matt Carson said.

In the second quarter the Lions were outscored 16-11, with the score tied at 29 after two quarters. At one point in the second quarter, FHS led by 10 points.

MT (10-2) struggled in the third with their aforementioned five-point effort.

"The turning point of the game was in the third quarter when we switched up our defense," Carson said. "We have a goal to keep teams under 10 points in the third quarter, and we met that goal (Saturday)."

In the final frame, FHS was 4-of-12 from the free-throw line.

MT was led in scoring by Isaiah Carson with a game-high 27 points. Carson made one 3-pointer with eight two-point baskets and was 8-of-14 from the free-throw line.

"Isaiah Carson is as good as any player we've seen all season," Matt Carson said.

Also for MT, Ty Leach scored 12 points off four 3-pointers and Tucker Hughes added nine points, including two 3-pointers and a 3-of-3 effort from the free-throw line.

The Lions were led by Cox with 26 points and six rebounds. Cox sank three 3-pointers and was 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Cameron Rolark scored 17 points, followed by Cody Ferrell with 11 points and six rebounds. Williams and Ian Adams each scored four points, with Williams tallying five assists. Cody Tolle scored two points.

FHS had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio at 14-13.

"We are resilient, is how I would describe our team," Carson said. "They have never quit, and they do the necessary things they need to do to compete. I applaud their effort.

"They are a good group of kids, and they are good people. The like being around each other, and they are a fun group to be around. I'm proud of the kids."

The Lions will play again on Friday, Jan. 21 when they host Fayetteville in an SHL contest.[[In-content Ad]]

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