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Free throw shooting dooms Lions in season opener


     LEESBURG – Free-throw shooting was the big turning point for the Fairfield Lions Friday night with the team finishing 20 of 37 from the foul line in a 60-56 loss to the East Clinton Astros at Grandle Gymnasium.

     According to Fairfield head coach Matt Carson the x-factor of the game was Nate Witkemper, who scored a career-high 27 points in the season opener for the Astros.

     “We didn’t defend him well,” Carson said “He was the x-factor.”

     East Clinton (1-0) started off by taking the lead at the end of the first quarter by a score of 13-11. The Astros came back with more points in the second, outscoring the Lions 19-11 to end the first half with a 32-22 advantage.

     “We did not play defense,” Carson said. “We allowed too much dribble penetration. We could have easily given up. We were down 16 at one point, but we changed some things on defense, our kids battled and showed heart.”

     In the second half the Lions (0-1) knocked down 16 points in the third, while keeping EC to 10 points in the quarter. Both teams scored 18 points apiece in the fourth quarter.

     Cameron Rolark led the Lions with a team-high 21 points. Rolark sank three 3-pointers, three two-point shots and was 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.

     Chris Cox finished with 14 points, shooting 3 of 3 from the free-throw line. He made five shots from the field, including one 3-pointer. Cox also grabbed eight rebounds and had five steals.

     Ian Adams and Cody Tolle each finished with seven points for FHS. Adams was 5 of 8 from the foul line. Adams also had five rebounds and five steals. Tolle drained two 3-pointers against the Astros.

     Alex Henson ended the game with six points, followed by Nick Sowders with two points and Casey Jordan with one.

     The Lions won the turnover battle at 27-15. EC gained a total of 31 boards, FHS had 27.

     “We just didn’t have a fundamentally sound game,” Carson said. “We will get that fix, and we are going to be ready to play Hillsboro (Saturday).”




ECHS – 13 19 10 18 – 60

FHS – 11 11 16 18 – 56



FHS (56)

N.Sowders 0 2-5 2, I.Adams 1 5-8 7, C.Rolark 3 (3) 4-5 21, C.Jordan 0 1-2 1, A.Henson 1 4-12 6, C.Cox 4 (1) 3-3 14, C.Tolle 0 (2) 1-2 7. TOTALS: 9 (6) 20-37 56.


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