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Fairland faces Meadowbrook in D2 regionals

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The division has change, but so far not the results.
The Fairland Dragons moved up to Division II this season after reaching the state tournament in Division III last season.
Regardless of the division, the Dragons are back in the regional semifinals as they prepare to play the Byesville Meadowbrook Colts at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Ohio University Convocation Center.
Thursday’s first game has John Glenn (21-4) played Chillicothe Unioto (22-2) at 6:15 p.m. The winners advance to the regional title game at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Convocation Center looking to earn a berth in the state tournament.
Meadowbrook (20-6) is led by 5-10 senior guard Trey Singleton who was the Eastern District Co-Player of the Year.
Singleton averages 23.7 points a game with 124 rebounds, 57 steals and 57 assists.  He became the program’s seventh player to reach the 1,000-point career milestone and currently had 1,019 total points.
Singleton is three points shy of the single-season scoring total of 617 and his 60 3-pointers is two shy of setting a new school record for a single season.
The Colts’ 6-4 junior Davis Black is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 and leads the team with 218 rebounds, 93 assists, 63 steals and 32 blocked shots.
“Their point guard quick handles the ball well. Black gets to the rim and plays real physical. There’s no one we’ve played who compares to them. That makes it hard to figure out how to match up,” said Dragons’ coach Nathan Speed.
The scoring drops off from there.
Averaging 6.6 points is 6-foot senior Bobby Feyko, 5-10 junior Peyton Neff scores at a 5.6 clip with 54 3-pointers and 6-2 senior Easton Black averages 3.0 points but is second on the team in rebounds with 84 and assists with 67.
Coming off the bench are 5-11 sophomore Johnathan McCall with a 5.0 scoring average along with 6-4 sophomore Addy Black and 6-2 junior Dylan Webster.
“They’re quick. They like to push the tempo. They’ll slow it down if they have to. They make good decisions,” said Speed.
“They are a really good rebounding team, especially on the offensive end.  The key is keeping them off the offensive boards and we need to get some offensive boards.”
The Colts are coached by Lou” Scooter” Tolzda who has 4-6 career wins and is taking a team to the regionals for the third time, twice with Meadowbrook and once with Beallsville.
The district title was the fifth in school history for the Colts who previously won the title in 1987, 1988, 2009 and 2017. The 20-win season is the school’s fourth.
Fairland (22-3) comes into the game riding a 12-game winning streak. The Dragons last lost was 81-79 to Division II power Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s. The other two losses were in the Beach Ball Classic at Myrtle Beach.
The Dragons are led by 6-8 senior Kollin Van Horn who was the Southeast District Player of the Year. He averaged 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds with 4.0 blocks per game. He has more than 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
Another first team all-district selection was 6-2 senior Luke Thomas who is averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 52 percent from 2-point range and 42 percent from 3-point land.
Last year’s Division III District Player of the Year was 6-4 senior Isaiah Howell who had another big season for the Dragons. He averaged 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and steals while shooting 60 percent from the 2-point range.
Like Van Horn, Howell has more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Rounding out the starting lineup are 6-2 senior Ty Staten and 6-1 senior forward Keedrick Cunningham.
Staten averages 7.3 points but has 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals from his point guard position.
Cunningham averaged 10.1 points a game and led Fairland with a career-high 29 points in the district title game as the Dragons rallied from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter to win 66-60 in overtime against Fairfield Union.