The Fairfield Lions were able to hold off the Hillsboro Indians comeback effort in a game in which they led by as many as 19 in the second half on Thursday night.
The game began with the Indians taking an early advantage to lead by as many as seven midway through the first period. The Lions erased the deficit towards the tail end of the first and after a three-point field goal by Bryson Simmons, took a 19-15 lead to the second.
The Lions carried their momentum to the second by turning up their defensive intensity as well out-hustling and out-rebounding the Indians. The Lions also took advantage of their ability to get to the free throw line, converting 7/8 attempts from the charity stripe. With their execution on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, the Lions took a 39-25 lead to halftime.
The Lions came out of the locker room continuing to execute at near peak efficiency to lead by as many as 19 midway through the third period. After struggling from beyond the arc in the first half, the Indians Ethan Watson began to find his rhythm converting three three-point field goals. With the Indians beginning to heat up from the field, they were able to cut into the deficit trailing 58-48 heading to the final period.
The Indians continued to cut into the deficit to pull as close as four midway through the fourth. The Lions struggled to close out the game going 8/14 from the line. However, the Lions were able to ice the game behind James Bentley and Tucker Ayers converting their final six free throws en route to a 72-68 victory.
Fairfield: Ayers 5(2)-6/7-22; Buddlemeyer 5-4/6-14; Gragg 6-0/1-12; Simmons 1(3)-1/4-12; Willey 1(1)-2/2-7; Bentley 3/5-3; Irvin 1-2
Hillsboro: Watson 4(4)-1/2-21; Swayne 6(1)-1/3-16; Mycroft 3-6/9-12; Clark 2-4/4-8; Crawford 3-2/2-8; Haines (1)-3; Scott 0/2-0
Spencer Michael is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.
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