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Lions split final 2 regular season games

Lead Summary
The Highland County Press-
LEESBURG — The Fairfield Lions split their final two games of the regular season, defeating the Manchester Greyhounds Saturday night, 52-50 and falling to the Eastern Brown Warriors, 56-54.

FHS finishes the regular season at 9-11 overall and 7-6 in the Southern Hills League.

On Saturday night, at Fairfield High School, the Lions bounced back after a heartbreaking loss to the Warriors by using timely shots, hustling play and inside scoring to defeat the 15-win Greyhounds. The game was a make-up contest from Jan. 15.

FHS senior Chris Cox led the way with 21 points, as his final basket turned out to be the game-winning bucket. Ian Adams finished with 12 points, and Cameron Rolark scored 11.

The Lions jumped out early on Manchester, taking a 15-9 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter saw Greyhounds and Lions exchange baskets, as the MHS cut into the early six-point advantage of the Lions to trail 33-29 at the half.  

The third quarter saw Manchester's Travis Combs pull the Greyhounds to a deadlock after three quarters, as he scored 11 of his 17 in the frame, tying the score at 39.  

In the fourth quarter, the lead changed numerous times. MHS senior Blake Blevins converted on a shot for the Greyhounds, tying the score at 50 with 13 seconds remaining on the clock. Blevins finished with 19 points.

Fairfield quickly inbounded it, and Dakota Hargrave found Cox underneath the basket, and Cox hit what would be the game-winner. Manchester had time to set up an out-of-bounds play from the sideline, but the shot fell short.

“I thought this was a real gut-check win for us after the tough loss we had Friday night,"  Fairfield head coach Matt Carson said. “We are a team that likes to get it out and run, but tonight was typical of what I’ve wanted to see this program evolve into the last four years. We played solid man-to-man defense and held a team to 50 points through sheer will, desire and determination. I am extremely happy for my guys right now.”

The Lions already had their senior night on Tuesday against Hillsboro, but Saturday marked the official last game in Grandle Gymnasium for seven Fairfield seniors, which included: Ian Adams, Chris Cox, Cody Ferrell, Cody Tolle, Cameron Rolark, Ryan Evans and Brandon Carmean.

“I’m really going to miss seeing them play here at home … they are great individuals, great people, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow up the past six years.

"Fighting back from an early 0-6 start (to the season) to get to where we are now is a testament to their willpower and don’t-quit attitude. I just want to thank them and their parents for allowing me to be a part of their lives. I can’t say enough good things about them.”
As for the game, Carson said this was huge for his team heading into tournament.  

“We got solid play from everybody tonight, and I’d like to point out a few people, but if I did it wouldn’t give due credit to how we won this game, which was as a team. We just played timely defense and made plays when we had to.  I’m so proud of them.”
Fairfield ends the regular season 9-11 (7-6) in the SHL, the third consecutive year they’ve finished with a winning record in the league. They are the No. 5 seed in the Div. IV Valley Sectional and will play at 6:15 p.m. on March 1 against Clay, the No. 4 seed, at Lucasville Valley H.S.

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The Fairfield Lions found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard Friday night, falling to the Eastern Warriors 54-52 at Eastern.  

Fairfield led throughout the game, but timely shots from Eastern’s Chase Lawson helped the host Warriors pull out a victory. Lawson finished with a game-high 39 points.

The Lions had time to set up a play at the end, down 55-54, but the shot fell short.

Against EB, Cox finished with 15 points, followed by Cody Ferrell with 10.[[In-content Ad]]

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