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Fairfield falls to Blue Lions

Lead Summary

     In the first game of the inaugural South Central Ohio League vs. Southern Hills League showdown it was the Washington Blue Lions who came out on top with converted free throws in the final minutes, as they rallied for a 70-61 victory over the Fairfield Lions Saturday night at the Southern State Patriot Center.

     “I am very unhappy with the intensity level from the team,” Washington head coach Gary Shaffer said. “Fairfield played harder than we did.”

     Fairfield led by three points at the start of the third quarter and extended their lead to 34-27 one minute into the quarter when Cameron Rolark and Chris Cox scored inside points.

     Washington’s Casey Shaw came back for the Blue Lions with a three-point play and teammate Julian Wyatt scored a layup, which happened via a full court pass from Shaw to Kyle Slone, who lobbed the ball to Wyatt on the quick Washington score. Shaw led the Blue Lions in scoring with 19 points, finishing 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.

     Cox followed with a free throw, but the Blue Lions answered with a 3-pointer from Matt Stringfield to tie the score at 35. Stringfield’s 3-ball was mirrored with one from Cody Tolle to put the Fairfield Lions ahead 38-35 with 4:13 left in the third.

     Alex Henson came back with a fast break, no-look pass to Ian Adams to give FHS a five-point lead.

     Late in the quarter Stringfield sank a 3-pointer for the Blue Lions to break within three points of the Fairfield advantage.

     Washington out scored Fairfield 31-15 in the fourth.

     Fairfield led by seven points headed into the final quarter, but that was quickly dashed when Stringfield sank a 3-pointer to open up the final quarter of regulation.

     Washington had some moments of unraveling with two technical fouls in the fourth quarter.

     WSHS was charged with their first of two technical fouls at the 6:51 mark. Cox took advantage by making both free throw attempts to give the Fairfield Lions an eight-point lead.

     Fairfield was unable to take advantage of the second technical call with 3:47 remaining in the game with two missed free throws.

     Trailing by six points the Blue Lions sank a 3-pointer off the fingertips of Stringfield, followed with a three-point play by Shaw to tie the game at 56.

     Slone was fouled and sank two free throws, but Cox came back with one shot from the foul line to put the Fairfield Lions back within one point of tying the score. The one-point deficit didn’t last long as Stringfield drained his third 3-pointer of the fourth, with a player in his view of the basket, to put the Blue Lions in front by four points at 61-57 with less than two minutes left. Washington kept the lead for the remainder of regulation.

     Stringfield made a total of five 3-pointers in the game, after being held scoreless in the first half. The Washington senior finished with 16 points.

     “Matt (Stringfield) hit key threes for us,” Shaffer said “It made a difference with him guarding Chris Cox in the second half.”

     In the fourth FHS were 7 of 12 from the free-throw line; the Blue Lions were 14 of 16.

     “We are playing with no confidence,” Fairfield head coach Matt Carson said. “Everyone is fine for the first 28 minutes then at the end of the game; if the court is extended on us, nobody wants to bring the ball up the court. We couldn’t get a string of free throws together.”

     Carson said his team played at he pace they wanted for a majority of the SHL-SCOL showdown.

     “For 29 minutes the pace was where we wanted it to be. We played a slow game with the scoring low, but then the tempo picked up and Washington took over.”

     The first 16 minutes was a different story for both Lion teams with Washington winning the first 16-14, but with Fairfield leading at the half 30-27.

     Washington took a 7-2 lead in the first 5:43 of the first with Slone scoring five straight points, including a 3-pointer to force FHS to call a timeout. Slone scored 15 points, with 11 in the first two quarters. He was 6 of 7 from the foul line.

     Fairfield tied the game at seven with three-point play from Cox, followed with Brandon Carmean maneuvering through two defenders for two points.

     Cameron Rolark connected from beyond the arc in the first to tie the game at 12 with 1:16 left in the first.

     Henson put together five consecutive points, which turned into a 10-0 run for the Fairfield Lions. Henson started the run with inside points, followed with a 3-pointer. Rolark added two points and Cox made a 3-pointer with 3:14 left in the first half.

     The first half ended with Tolle making a 3-pointer, but the final 3-ball came from Shaw with .27 left in the half.

     “Our bench play with Brandon (Carmean) and Sam (Stauffer) was excellent,” Carson said. “We just can’t put a good run of defense together without lapses. We must be able to play defense consistently.”

     From the free-throw line Washington finished 21 of 25, with Fairfield finishing 12 of 19.

     The loss drops the Lions to 4-4 overall. Their next game will be on Tuesday, Jan. 5 as they travel to Manchester at 6 p.m.




WSHS – 16 11 12 31 – 70

FHS – 14 16 16 15 – 61



WSHS (70)

M.Stringfield 0 (5) 1-2 16, J.Wyatt 5 1-1 11, C.Shaw 3 (1) 10-11 19, J.Hynes 1 1-2 3, C.Johnson 2 2-2 6, K.Slone 3 (1) 6-7 15. TOTALS: 14 (7) 21-25 70.


FHS (61)

I.Adams 2 1-2 5, C.Rolark 4 (1) 1-2 12, A.Henson 3 (1) 3-4 12, C.Cox 5 (1) 7-11 20, C.Tolle 0 (2) 6, B.Carmean 3 6. TOTALS: 17 (5) 12-19 61.

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