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Dragons one step from OVC title with win over Pointers


RIGHT PHOTO: South Point Pointers’ Austin Webb (right) blocks the shot of Fairland Dragons’ Aiden Porter (left) during Saturday’s OVC showdown. The Dragons won 55-45 as Porter scored 17 points. LEFT PHOTO: Fairland Dragons’ Zander Schmidt (left) goes up against the South Point Pointers’ Malik Pegram (right) to score a tough basket. (Photos By Tim Gearhart)

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The Fairland Dragons must be feeling deja vu after locking up a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title with their win over South Point on Saturday night, 55-45. This marks the eighth straight conference title for the Dragons.
South Point defeated the Dragons in their first matchup at home 43-40 to give Fairland its only conference loss of the season.
The Pointers fell short of locking up the title in the second meeting, and they will be Gallia Academy’s biggest fans on Monday as the Blue Devils can gift them a share of the title with a win over Fairland.
Fairland is 16-4 overall and 12-1 in the OVC. South Point is 13-4 and finishes 12-2 in the league.
“We were looking for the knockout punch instead of working the ball around last time. But I thought we worked the ball around better tonight and let it come within the flow of the offense,” said Fairland Dragons coach Nathan Speed.
They would get their ‘knockout punch’ this time around, but not until the second quarter when the Dragons finished the quarter on a 10-0 run in the last 3:34 of the half.
“I thought we were actually running well in transition. I thought we had our chances earlier in the game, but weren’t filling the lanes correctly. I think we just did a good job of hitting people in the right spots,” said Speed on the Dragon’s run that led to their halftime lead.
The Pointers led after one quarter of play thanks to the big play of Mason Kazee, who recorded 5 points and 4 rebounds to lead South Point to a 18-16 advantage.
Fairland picked up the defensive intensity in the second quarter by limiting the Pointers to just 4 points on one field goal. That field goal came at the beginning of the quarter on a triple from Austin Webb.
The run for Fairland to close out the first half was sparked by Zander Schmidt who scored 5 points off the bench in the quarter. Gavin Hunt added 5 points as well to outscore South Point 18-4 in the second. That stretched the Dragon lead out to 34-22 at the break and the Pointers never recovered.
The game would get cut back to single digits at the end of three (47-38), but South Point could not make enough plays to get over the hump in the end. They shot a horrific 10-of-22 from the free throw line that could have helped bring them back into the game.
The Dragons were led by junior guard Aiden Porter who scored a game-high 17 points and dished out 4 assists as well. Clayton Thomas added 13 points while Jacob Polcyn scored 11 and snagged 7 rebounds.
Webb finished with a team high 12 points for the South Point.
Fairland will host Gallia Academy on Monday night with a chance to win the conference outright. South Point entertains Huntington Ross in a Division 3 sectional tournament game.
South Point 18 4 16 7 = 45
Fairland 16 18 13 8 = 55
SOUTH POINT (13-4, 12-2): Jake Adams 1-4 0-1 0-0 2, Nakyan Turner 3-7 0-0 5-9 11, Mason Kazee 3-8 1-3 0-0 9, Darryl Taylor 1-6 0-0 2-6 4, Austin Webb 2-5 2-6 2-5 12, Malik Pegram 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Xander Dornon 1-1 0-1 1-2 3. Totals: 13-33 3-11 10-22 45. Rebounds: 24 (Kazee 7). Assists: 5 (Kazee 2, Webb 2). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Nakyan Turner.
FAIRLAND (16-4, 12-1): Jacob Polcyn 3-6 1-1 2-4 11, Aiden Porter 7-11 0-6 3-4 17, Gavin Hunt 1-3 1-2 0-0 5, Clayton Thomas 3-5 2-8 1-2 13, JD Thacker 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Jordan Williams 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Zander Schmidt 1-2 1-1 0-0 5, Nate Thacker 1-1 0-1 0-0 2. Totals: 16-29 5-19 8-12 55. Rebounds: 31 (Williams 8, Hunt 8). Assists: 12 (Porter 4). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: None.