A non-scoring first quarter stalled the Lady Lions’ momentum in the Division IV District Semifinal at Jackson High School Saturday, and they just couldn’t bring it back around before the buzzer – the Waterford Pioneers carted away a 29-point win and a shot at the district final.
The Fairfield ladies shot 9 out of 16 from the freethrow line for 56 percent.
Junior Grace Shope led scoring for the Lions with 7 points, tying with Fairfield High School alumnus Heather Cox as the girls all-time leading scorer for Fairfield at 1,199 points.
The first quarter saw Waterford make 8 points, barring Fairfield from any scoring.
Abigail Newkirk put up 4 of Fairfield’s 5 points in the second quarter, making a 2-pointer and a freethrow before the buzzer.
At the half, the score was 22-5 with Fairfield down by 17.
The Leesburg ladies topped out scoring at 7 points in the third quarter between Shope, Newkirk, Carly Arnold and Blake Adams, but still trailed Waterford by the buzzer at 34-12.
Shope, Trinity Huff and Adams led scoring for the Lions in the final period for a 5-point gain, finishing the game and their tournament run with a final score of 46-17.
“I think nerves played a part in the beginning,” said Fairfield girls coach Chad Hamilton. “Playing at noon is a little strange – you’re not used to doing that throughout the year. But, we had some looks in the beginning, and I really think if we knocked a few of those down early, it changes the mentality – I don’t know if it changes the outcome, but it changes things a little bit. We kind of got in our heads there for a little while, and we struggled.”
Waterford — 8 14 12 12 — 46
Fairfield — 0 5 7 5 — 17
WHS: Adams 2-4/4-8; Ball 6-2/2-14; Kern 5-3/6-13; Duff 2-1/4-5; Offenberger 2-4; Lang 1-2
FHS: Newkirk 1-3/4-5; Shope 1-5/7-7; C. Arnold 1-2; Adams 1-1/2-3
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.