Things got tight in the fourth quarter for the Fairfield Lions when the Scioto East Tartans tied the score with seven seconds on the clock, but a 3-point buzzer-beater from Jensen Daulton brought the game back around in the knick of time – spelling victory for the Lions in the Division IV Sectional Championship and earning them a slot in the district semifinal round.
Daulton led the Lions with 29 points – five 2-pointers, five 3-pointers and 4 for 4 from the freethrow line.
As a team, the Lions shot 10 of 18 from the freethrow line for 56 percent.
The Tartans had the lead in the first few minutes of the game, but Daulton and the Leesburg fellows put the pedal to the metal, keeping Sciotoville at a 14-point gain for the quarter while making 21 for themselves, finishing off the first quarter with a 7-point lead at 21-14.
Fairfield improved their lead to 12 points before halftime, leading by as many as 13 points twice in the quarter. Tucker Ayres led scoring for the Lions with four 2-pointers.
At the half, the Lions were still in the lead at 44-23.
Although the Tartans outscored Fairfield by 3 points in the third quarter, the Lions still finished out the period with a 15-point lead. Daulton put up two threes and a 2-pointer to lead the Lions.
The Tartans tightened up their game in the fourth quarter, making 26 points while keeping Fairfield at 14. Led by Akia Brown, the Tartans put up a defensive wall and pushed through the Lions, knocking Fairfield’s lead down from 14 points at the beginning of the quarter to 1 point in the last minute. It was Brown who tied the game for the Tartans with seven seconds on the clock, but Daulton hurled a last-minute three to bring the game to a close with a Fairfield win.
“We controlled the tempo, we put pressure on the ball,” said Fairfield head coach Everett Snyder. “We forced a lot of turnovers there, getting the hand in and knocking the ball lose. Several second chance points turned into transition points. We executed pretty well to our plan.”
The Fairfield boys will travel to Ohio University next Tuesday, March 7, to compete in the Division IV District Semifinal against Waterford High School.
Fairfield — 21 23 18 14 — 76
Scioto East — 14 18 15 26 — 73
FHS: Gragg 2-0/1-4; Walker 2(1)-2/2-9; Evans 5-1/7-11; Daulton 5(5)-4/4-29; Cain 1-2; Current 4-2/2-10; Ayres 5-1/2-11
Flannery 2(1)-9/12-16; Shope 2(4)-16; Douhat (2)-6; Brown 12-7/8-31; Bruton 2-4
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.