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Sword dominates; Lady Lions gain 1st win of season

Lead Summary
The Highland County Press-
LEESBURG — It took longer than expected, but that doesn't matter anymore. For the first time this season, the Fairfield Lady Lions had the higher score after 32 minutes, defeating Highland County and Southern Hills League foe Whiteoak, 42-31 Thursday night at Grandle Gymnasium.

Megan Sword led all scorers with a game-high 26 points for the Lady Lions. Sword gained a double-double with 10 rebounds, along with seven steals and two blocks. In their previous meeting this season, Sword scored a game-high 22 points as WHS defeated FHS 57-39 at WHS.

"Megan Sword has had a tremendous season thus far, as defenses continue to key on her, but she still manages to put up good numbers," FHS head coach Matt Hodson said.

In the fourth frame, Sword was 9-of-9 from the free-throw line and 10-of-11 overall.

The season hasn't gone as planned for the Lady Lions, as they lost All-Ohio player Chelsey Riddle, a senior, for the entire season due to injury when she was hurt in a preseason scrimmage.

Though they lost their leading scorer from a year ago, the Lady Lions accepted the challenge and took their lumps this season but never gave up while playing on the court.
Thursday night was their reward for their tough season to date.

"The girls really have been working hard in practice, and it is great for them to get a win under their belt," Hodson said. "They are such a great group of young ladies to be around. I think this will help their confidence with our last two games and heading into the tournament."

Though the Lady Lions trailed by four points at halftime (24-20), it was their defense that put them in the lead for good, as they held the Lady 'Cats' offense to one point in the third frame. In the opening quarter, FHS trailed, 9-4.

"We came out in the second half and played better, but we were still a little sluggish on offense," Hodson said. "Our defense was kept us in the game."

In the third frame, FHS outscored WHS 6-1 to take a 26-25 lead over the county rival.

Then came the final quarter, and that's when FHS came alive according to Hodson.

"We started running Megan off some screens, as they were playing a box, and one on Megan. That is when Heather Huff, Lindsey Bernard, Kortney Paris and Heather Cox all stepped up and made baskets," Hodson said.

Bernard finished with four points, and Paris had five points for the Lady Lions. Cox and Huff also scored four points each.

"Lindsey Bernard ran the point very well and took the ball to the basket like she did this summer," Hodson said. "Paris and Huff played their best defensive game of the year, and Cox and Tiffany Woods got some huge rebounds at crucial times.

"I'm really proud of the way the girls played defense tonight."

For WHS, Jessie Gilliland scored seven points, and Brooke Burns had a team-high 11 points.

FHS has two games remaining in the regular season as they face Peebles on Monday and Fayetteville on Thursday for senior night.[[In-content Ad]]

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