Fairfield Lions ranked No. 3


The Leesburg Fairfield High School Lions boys basketball team has had an incredibly successful season so far. With a record of 20-0, they are currently ranked No. 3 in the state for Division IV and have been ranked as high as No. 2 this season.

The Lions had two regular season games left — they were to host McClain on Tuesday and visit Lynchburg-Clay on Friday. The No. 1 seed in the Southeast District, the Lions open Division IV tournament action on Feb. 20 by hosting No. 16 seed Symmes Valley or No. 17 seed Sciotoville. If they win they will play again Feb. 27 against either No. 18 seed Latham Western or No. 9 seed Piketon.

“To my knowledge we’ve never been ranked in the state,” said Fairfield graduate Quentin Williams, the team’s coach. “To the community, I believe it gives them a lot of pride and something to look forward to because coming from a small farming community, there’s not much to do other than play sports, and it allows for excitement in the community whenever you are successful, especially when the success is unprecedented,” he said. “To us, we honestly try to ignore it; we try to take everything one day at a time, not get complacent, do the right things, and keep working hard. It’s an honor and the kids deserve it, but you can’t get caught up in it.”

Williams said hard work, family values and resiliency have contributed to the team’s success.

“You have to put in the work and do it the right way,” Williams said of his team’s work ethic. “My group I have of juniors and seniors, we’ve been together for five years now, so we have worked extremely hard together, and I’ve been able to progress and focus a lot on small details over the years that can help separate you as a player and a team.”

According to Williams, the team views itself as a family. “A lot of teams say they are family, but I’ve never been a part of a team that’s embodied the characteristics of a family so well before,” he said. “We truly love spending time with one another and love each other. We have a selfless mentality where we want to see each other succeed together as a team more than worry about individual success.”

Williams views resiliency in the face of adversity as another of the team’s winning attributes. “From our first game, we won in overtime by one against a great Washington Court House team, and we’ve come back from 10 down in the third against a very good North Adams team to win by five,” he said. “We’ve come back from 20 down in the second quarter to down 15 in the fourth quarter against a great Cedarville team to win 59 to 57.”

In another test of adversity, the team recently had to play without Tytis Cannon, who averages about 20 points per game. “Most people counted us out and thought it was over for us, but that same week we played state-ranked Fayetteville at their place and beat them by 13 and then were picked to lose against North Adams the second time around by 13 but ended up winning 54 to 37.”

“Our goal is to be the best we can be and to get better individually and together every single day,” said Williams.

See today’s sports section for this week’s AP state rankings.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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