LUCASVILLE — The Fairfield Lady Lions traveled to Valley High School on Thursday to take on the Lady Huntsmen of Huntington in an OHSAA D III girls Sectional tournament basketball game. The Lady Lions and Lady Huntsmen were evenly matched and battled back and forth in a wild encounter that featured two lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter with the ladies from Huntington coming out on top 68-64.
Seniors Brianna Barnes, Trinity Huff and Lauren Arnold put forth a great effort with Barnes and Huff leading the way offensively with 24 and 13 points respectively while Arnold was key to breaking the Lady Huntsmen press with her precision pass and Lauren also played stellar on the defensive end with consistent pressure against Huntington’s ball handlers.
The Lady Lions opened the game strong with Barnes and Emma Fouch combining to score Fairfield’s first nine points as they jumped out to an early 9-4 lead.
The Lady Huntsmen refused to be beaten early and rallied to tie it at 11 with 3:40 to play on back to back layups by freshman Allison Basye.
Fouch and Barnes had the final six points of the quarter for Fairfield as well with Fouch hitting a jumper and two free throws while Barnes continued to work on the block and scored on a tough layup. The Lady Lions allowed two points over the final three minutes on the defensive end and took a 17-13 lead into the second quarter.
The Lady Lions were able to maintain their lead for much of the second quarter until Huntington’s Katie Hirsch hit a three pointer with under three minutes to play and put her team up 22-20.
Barnes tied it up a short time later with another layup inside for the Lady Lions before another three pointer for the Lady Huntsmen, this time from Brodey Entler, put Huntington up where it would stay for the remainder of the first half as it took a 27-24 lead into the halftime locker room.
Huntington was able to push it’s lead to 10 points at 34-24 with six unanswered points to start the third quarter.
But, the Lady Lions refused to go down easy and staged a 20-9 run that was started with a three pointer from Samara Cannon and ended with 20 seconds to play when Fouch hit a three of her own to give the Lady Lions their first lead of the second half.
Basye hit on a driving layup while being fouled and converted at the charity stripe to put Huntington in front 46-44 at the end of three.
Huff and Barnes were especially impactful offensively for the Lady Lions in the fourth quarter when they combined for 16 of Fairfield’s 20 points in the fourth quarter in a desperate attempt to extend their Fairfield basketball careers.
Ultimately the Lady Lions were able to tie it and take the lead but the Lady Huntsmen were able to keep their cool and retake the lead with Basye leading the way to the 68-64 win.
The Lady Huntsmen advance to take on Wheelersburg on Saturday at Valley High School with an expected tip time of 6:15 p.m.
Score by quarters
Fairfield: Cannon 3(2)-12; Fouch 1(2)-2/2-10; Arnold 2/4-2; Huff 4-5/5-13; Bronner 1-1/2-3; Barnes 11-2/4-24
Huntington: Black 2(1)-7; Basye 8(2)-9/11-31; Steele 2/2-2; Hirsch (1)-3; Entler (1)-3; Collins 7(2)-2/6-22
Ryan Applegate is the sports editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.