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Lions battle, defeat Green Devils

Lead Summary

     LEESBURG – After allowing the North Adams Green Devils back into the game after leading by 12 points, the Fairfield Lions fought, scraped and battled until the final buzzer as they were victorious in their Southern Hills League opener, defeating the Green Devils 66-60 Friday night.

     The Lions were led by a duo of juniors in Cameron Rolark and Chris Cox as they brought the Fairfield fans to their feet at Grandle Gymnasium.

     Cox was the leading scorer for the Lions as he gained a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Rolark impressed with another solid game as he netted 19 points, knocking down two 3-pointers and was 5 of 6 from the foul line.

     The Lions were 16 of 21 in the free-throw shooting against the Green Devils. NA was 15 of 22.

     “I am very happy about our free throw shooting (Friday),” Fairfield head coach Matt Carson said. “We are getting better, and we really improved from the line since our last game against Hillsboro.”

     The Lions led after the first quarter at 17-12 and then trailed 34-33 at halftime, but the third quarter set up an SHL showdown of who wanted the win more, as the game was tied at 45 with eight minutes to go.

     Rolark put the Lions up with 6:05 left in the final quarter by banking in a 3-pointer for the first points by either team in the final eight minutes. North Adams freshman Sheridan Carroll and senior Sam Louden each put down a free throw to bring the Green Devils back within one-point of the lead. Louden ended the game leading all scorers with 27 points. The senior was 9 of 10 from the free-throw line.

     FHS senior Nick Sowders scored two points with 5:06 left, but again, the Green Devils didn’t back off as senior Nick Latham scored on a pressure-packed layup inside the paint.

     While being double-teamed by North Adams (0-2, 0-3), Cox was able to maneuver past both defenders with a turnaround jumper to put the Lions up at 52-49 with 4:48 remaining in regulation.

     After free-throws by Carroll and a bucket from Fairfield senior Alex Henson, Cox again hit another jump shot, but his points were followed with a layup by Louden, keeping the game a one possession ballgame at 56-53, with the Lions leading.

     Cox made a retro three-point basket with a layup and free throw. NA junior Drew Dollich put defensive pressure on the Lions by stealing the ball, and then added some offensive output with a bucket on the ensuing fast break with 2:12 left in the game.

     Starting with 1:24 left in the final quarter the Green Devils put up consecutive points by Dollich, Dillon Davis and James Herbert to cut the FHS lead down to 61-58 with 55.7 left. Dollich finished with 17 points.

     Cox answered with two free throws, but the Green Devils scraped their way back into the game with inside points by Louden. Free throws by Rolark and junior Ian Adams put the game out of reach, sealing the Lions’ win.

     “I am very happy with the win, but we still had way too many turnovers (20),” Carson said. “We had them down by 12 in the second, but we slowed things down in the third and we became more patient with the ball. We still need to play better defense.

     “I am sure when I look at the tape Saturday I will see good things, but we must play better man-to-man defense if we want to win more games.”

     In the opening eight minutes the Lions led by five points with buckets from Rolark, Ryan Evans, Cox, Adams and Cody Tolle.Tolle and Rolark each sank 3-pointers in the first quarter. For NA, Dollich and Louden each made trifectas.

     Leading by 12 points with 3:41 left in the first half, the Lions allowed the Green Devils to tie the game at 29 with 1:55 left, a span of 2:26.

     NA took the lead with a basket by Kris King. NA extended their advantage after Dollich sank a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left in the second. Adams equaled the feat with a 3-point basket with 9.8 left in the opening half.

     FHS senior Josh Honeycutt scored three points in the second, ending the game with seven points.

     In the third FHS jumped out to a 41-36 lead after Rolark, Cox and Tolle, who scored four straight points, built up the lead. The game was tied at 41 after Louden scored off a FHS turnover and led the game when Dollich scored a two point basket.

     The Lions (1-0, 1-2) will play again Tuesday as they travel to Fayette for an SHL showdown with freshman play starting at 4:30 p.m.




NAHS – 12 22 11 15 – 60

FHS – 17 16 12 21 – 66



N.Sowders 1 2, I.Adams 1 (1) 2-3 7, C.Rolark 4 (2) 5-6 19, A.Henson 2 1-2 5, C.Cox 9 5-5 23, C.Tolle 0 (1) 3, J.Honeycutt 2 3-4 7. TOTALS: 19 (4) 16-21 66.


NAHS (60)

S.Carroll 0 4-6 4, S.Louden 6 (2) 9-10 27, K.King 1 2, J.Herbert 1 2, N.Latham 1 0-2 2, B.Rothwell 2 4, D.Dollich 3 (3) 2-3 17, Q.Baker 1 0-1 2. TOTALS: 15 (5) 15-22 60.

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