Fairfield’s Lady Lions traveled to Valley High School on Saturday to take on the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates in a battle for the Division III Sectional Tournament Championship game, the Lady Lions fell short as they lost by a score of 66-44.
Fairfield saw Grace Shope and Blake Adams play their last game for the program and each showed valiant effort as they both managed to score in double figures. Shope finished with 16 points while Adams contributed 12 in a losing effort.
The Lady Pirates had three players in double figures as Kaylee Darnell had 15, Ellie Ruby scored 17 and Abbie Kallner led all scorers with 21.
Wheelersburg came out on fire in the first quarter and dropped 29 points as Kallner scored 17 of her 21 points in the quarter and drained all four of her three point attempts in the frame. The Lady Lions were on the opposite end of the spectrum as they struggled against the stingy Lady Pirates defense and scored eight points in the quarter with Adams earning six in the frame.
The second quarter was much the same as the first and saw the Lady Lions struggle offensively as they scored only nine points in the quarter and committed several turnovers that led to easy baskets for the Lady Pirates as they netted 18 points in the second and took a 47-17 lead into halftime.
The Lady Lions came out in the second half with renewed energy as they put together a double digit quarter scoring 11 points with Shope leading the way with seven points in the period. The Lady Pirates seemed to regress in the second half as they only mustered nine points in the period but, were able to maintain a comfortable 56-28 lead.
Fairfield battled until the end as they scored 16 points in the fourth quarter while holding Wheelersburg to 10. However, it was not enough for the Lady Lions to pull off the comeback.
Fairfield head coach Chad Hamilton talked after the game about the scoring of the Lady Pirates in the first half.
“We kept it close for the first couple of minutes and then they just came out on fire. No matter what defense we were in any open look they got they knocked it down. I was told they shot 67 percent in the first half from three. There is not a whole lot you can do against that,” said Hamilton.
The loss ends one of the most successful seasons in Fairfield Lady Lions history as they captured the SHAC regular season championship for the first time in school history.
Hamilton pointed out that the girls were responsible for the great season they had.
“I told the girls that they are responsible for everything that we have done. We had the first league championship in school history, I am very proud of that. Very proud of these girls and the four seniors will definitely be missed,” Hamilton said.
Wheelersburg:Darnell 3(3)-15; Collins (1)-3; Ruby 1(4)-3/4-17; A. Kallner 4(4)-1/1-21; E. Kallner 1-2/4-4; Bergan 1-1/2-3; Williams 1/2-1; Grant 1-2
Fairfield: Sowards 1-2; Shope 3(1)-7/8-16; Cannon 3-6; Spargur 1-2; Magee 1-2; Adams 5-2/4-12; Barnes 2-4
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.