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Dragons take control of OVC title chase

Fairland Dragons’ Jacob Polcyn (0) goes up for two points between Coal Grove Hornets’ defenders Nate Harmon (10) and Jaylen McKenzie (23) during Friday’s game. The Dragons won 61-41 to take a two-game lead in the OVC race. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — Forget some expensive Uber driver. The Fairland Dragons will handle this by themselves.
The Dragons put themselves in the driver’s seat of the Ohio Valley Conference race on Friday with a 61-41 win over the Coal Grove Hornets.
Fairland is now 13-4 overall and 8-1 in the OVC, two games ahead of Coal Grove, Ironton and Gallipolis.
The Dragons turned what was expected to be a tough, tightly-contested game into an easy win thanks to a clutch start that saw them lead 13-0 after the first quarter and the Hornets never could get their offensive rhythm.
While Fairland shot a sizzling 24-of-34 from the floor including 15-of-18 from 2-point range, the Hornets were just 16-of-46 including 0-for-15 from behind the arc.
Aiden Porter and Clayton Thomas scored 16 points each and Matt Mondlak had 15 to lead the Dragons’ offense.
Jacob Polcyn grabbed nine rebounds and Ian Chinn had six.
Aaron Music had 24 points and seven rebounds for the Hornets. Jaylen McKenzie added eight points and Evan Holmes six.
Fairland used seven points by Porter and 3-pointers by Thomas and Mondlak to take the 13-0 lead.
Coal Grove trailed 17-0 before Music scored with 4:53 left in the half. The lead reached 30-6 on a 3-pointer by Mondlak and a basket by Polcyn with 1:57 left in the half.
Music’s scored with just 11 seconds left and it was 32-12 at intermission.
Mondlak scored with 31 seconds to go in the third quarter that gave Fairland its biggest lead of the game at 47-20.
The closest the Hornets got the rest of the game was 52-36 with Holmes scored with 1:25 to play in the game.
On Tuesday, Coal Grove visits Gallipolis and Fairland hosts South Point.
Fairland 13 19 15 14 = 61
Coal Grove 0 12 8 21 = 41
FAIRLAND (13-4, 8-1): Jacob Polcyn 2-2 0-0 4, Aiden Porter 5-6 2-4 16, Gavin Hunt 2-2 0-0 4, Matt Mondlak 3-4 3-5 15, Ian Chinn 2-2 0-0 2-2 6, Andy Lange 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton Thomas 1-1 4-7 2-3 16. Totals: 24-34 4-5 61. 3-pt goals: 9-16. Rebounds: 4-O, 24-D = 28 (Polcyn 9, Chinn 6). Assists: 16 (Thomas 6, Polcyn 4, Hunt 3). Steals: 2. Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.
COAL GROVE (11-5, 6-3): Aaron Music 11-18 0-4 2-4 24, Cory Borders 0-2 0-5 0-0 0, Evan Gannon 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Evan Holmes 3-3 0-2 0-0 6, Nate Harmon 1-4 0-0 2, Kyle Sites 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jaylen McKenzie 1-2 0-0 6-6 8, Payten Smith 0-4 0-1 0-0 0. Totlas: 16-46 9-12 41. 3-pt goals: 0-15. Rebounds: 7-O, 8-D =15 (Music 7). Assists: 5 (Music 2, McKenzie 2). Steals: 5 (Borders 3). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 10 Fouled out: None.