Wednesday night’s game went down to the wire as the Fairfield Lady Lions hosted Southern Hills Athletic Conference opponent the West Union Lady Dragons. Fairfield was able to hold off a fourth quarter surge by West Union to win the game 51-49.
West Union’s Natasha Barr was the leading scorer for the night with 25 points and Heather Cox led her team with 22. She also tallied 17 rebounds for another double double on the year. Lydia Sowders also grabbed 11 boards for the Lady Lions and Kaitlin Evans had six assists.
“[West Unions’] defense was the story of the game,” coach Chad Hamilton said after the Lady Lions victory. “They came out in that triangle-and-two and that’s very difficult to play against and they were very effective at it. Heather [Cox] did well against it though and was able to get a lot of offensive rebounds. She just did the things we needed her to do tonight.”
Carly Arnold had a break out game, scoring 15 points including a three pointer.
“I thought Carly was probably the biggest factor in this game,” Hamilton said about Arnold’s performance. “She stepped up and she’s shown a lot of improvement this year. Her jumpshot has gotten better and she was a really big factor for us tonight.”
The Fairfield girls went into the half on Wednesday night with a 23-23 tie on their hands. Some adjustments were made and the Lady Lions came out with defensive pressure that West Union couldn’t handle.
“I thought that in the second half, our defense won the ball game,” Hamilton said about his team’s amped up defense in the second half. “We came out and played hard after the half. We started getting the loose balls, tipped some passes and got some turnovers.”
At the end of the third, the Lady Lions’ defense had paid off and they were up 36-31.
The West Union squad made quite a run in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 points and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. After a missed second free throw by Fairfield’s Kaitlin Evans, West Union got the rebound with 11 seconds left on the clock. They took the ball down the floor and, once again, Fairfield’s defense struck again, causing the ball handler to fumble the ball into the arms of a Lady Lion and the clock ran down, Fairfield winning by two points.
“We continue to improve and winning the close game will hopefully pay dividends for us down the road.” coach Hamilton said.
The Lady Lions won’t have much time to rest as they will be back in action and on the road Thursday night against Peebles.
FHS – 12 11 13 15 – 51
WUHS – 11 12 8 18 – 49
Fairfield: Cox 6 10/13 – 22, Arnold 5(1) 2/3 – 15, Sowders 4 0/2 – 8, Evans 2 2/5 – 6. Totals: 17(1) 14/23 – 51.
West Union: Barr 8(2) 3/7 – 25, Martin 5 7/7 – 17, Akers (1) 0/1 – 3, Howard 2/2 – 2, Boldman 1/2 – 1. Totals: 13(3) 13/20 – 49.
Robert Stegbauer is a staff reporter for the Times-Gazette. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter a @RStegbauer.