MCDERMOTT — The Fairfield Lions traveled to Northwest High School on Tuesday and took on the Ironton St. Joseph Flyers in a Division IV Southeast Sectional Final game.
Fairfield started strong as they quickly built a 6-0 lead with baskets from Wyatt Willey, Bryson Simmons and Sam Buddlemeyer with over five and a half minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Lions were able to maintain that advantage until St. Joseph netted a three pointer with four minutes to play that cut the Fairfield lead to three points at 6-3.
The Flyers used that three pointer as a jump start to a 10-0 run over the next two minutes of play that propelled St. Joseph to a 10-6 lead with 2:15 to play in the first quarter.
Follwoing a timeout at the 2:11 mark by Fairfield Head Coach Josh Howland, Willey hit a pull up jumper with just under two minutes to play to end the drought for the Lions.
A free throw by the Flyers with 1:01 to play was not enough to keep St. Joseph in front as Simmons and Willey combined for four points in under 41 seconds to play including a deep two by Willey at the buzzer to put the Lions up 12-11 as the teams prepared for the second quarter of play.
Fairfield turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and held the Flyers without a field goal and allowed only three points in the quarter from the free throw line.
Offensively the Lions continued to pour in the points with contributions from Austin Setty, Willey, Buddlemeyer and Simmons with each recording at least and Simmons leading the way with five points in the quarter as Fairfield extended it’s lead to double figures and led 29-14 at halftime.
St. Joseph scored first in the third quarter on two free throws at the 6:45 mark but were unable to score again in the quarter as the Lions of Fairfield extended their lead even further behind Simmons and Buddlemeyer.
Simmons had the first bucket of the quarter for the Lions when he converted a jumper to make it 31-16.
From there the third quarter belonged to Buddlemeyer as he scored nine consecutive points for the Lions in a variety of ways and personally put the Flyers in a 24 point 40-16 hole at the end of three quarters.
St. Joseph scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to top their total from the previous three quarters of play but it was not enough to catch the Lions as they hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the 57-39 victory and the Sectional Title.
Score by quarters
Fairfield: Setty 2-2/2-6; Buddlemeyer 8-5/5-21; Willey 5-4/9-14; Saunders 1-1/2-3; Simmons 4(1)-0/1-11; Bentley 2/2-2
St. Joseph: W. Whaley (1)-3; I. Whaley (2)-2/2-8; Roach 1(1)-2/2-7; Dameron 2(1)-1/2-8; Mahlmeister 1(2)-2/3-10; Weber 1/2-1
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.