LEESBURG — It was a battle of Lions Tuesday night when the Washington Blue Lions traveled to Leesburg to take on the Fairfield Lions.
Washington went in search of its first win of the season.
The Blue Lions had a good start to the game, but a very strong third quarter by Fairfield turned the tide and led the Red and White Lions to a 67-52 victory.
Fairfield had four players in double figures, led by Bryson Simmons with 16 points.
Conner Priest hit for 14 and Wyatt Willey and James Bentley each added 13 points.
Freshman Tanner Lemaster was the game’s leading scorer for the Blue Lions with 19 points.
Sophomore Karson Runk scored 12 and junior Mitch Lotz tallied nine.
“I really thought the energy was there in the third quarter and the first part of the fourth,” Fairfield head coach Josh Howland said. “Tucker Watson came in and got us five offensive boards off the bench. That was huge. That’s something that the kids just have to want to do and he wants to do that every time. I was impressed with that.
“We went to a 2-3 zone and played aggressive 2-3 zone,” Howland said. “I thought we got some transition points there. We want to get some easy buckets.”
“Late in the third quarter, we made some mistakes that really hurt us badly,” Washington head coach Ryan Day said. “We just didn’t bounce back until it was too late.
“I’m encouraged by the first half and I’m encouraged by some things late,” Day said. “We’ve really got to do a better job of getting defensive rebounds. (Fairfield) got way too many offensive rebounds.”
Runk got the scoring underway with a bucket 19 seconds into play.
Fairfield took a 5-2 lead and held sway until Lemaster scored to tie the game, 16-16 late in the first quarter.
The score was tied four times in the second quarter, never straying from a two-point margin either way.
At the halftime break, Fairfield led Washington, 26-24.
The Blue Lions took the early lead in the third quarter, 27-26.
From that point forward, Fairfield outscored Washington, 25-5 to take a 51-32 lead after three quarters of action.
Fairfield started the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to extend its lead to 25 points, 57-32.
For the last six minutes of the game, the Blue Lions outscored Fairfield, 20-10. Washington hit four of its six three-point field goals in the fourth quarter.
It came down to foul shooting on this night.
The Lions hit 23 of 33 attempts (70 percent), while the Blue Lions made 6 of 11 (55 percent).
Washington (0-10) will return to Frontier Athletic Conference play hosting McClain Friday at 6 p.m.
Fairfield (6-4) will host Fayetteville for Homecoming Friday at 6 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 16 8 8 20 — 52
F 16 10 25 16 — 67
WASHINGTON — Brice Cartwright 0 (1)-0-3; Karson Runk 3 (1)-3-12; Drew Moats 0-0-0; Trevin Brown 0 (1)-0-3; Mitch Lotz 0 (2)-3-9; Stone DuBois 1-0-2; Titus Lotz 0-0-0; Tanner Lemaster 8 (1)-0-19; Noah Hicks 2-0-4. TOTALS — 14 (6)-6-52. Free throw shooting: 6 of 11 for 55 percent. Three-point field goals: M. Lotz, 2; Cartwright, Runk, Brown, Lemaster. Field goal shooting: 20 of 52 for 38 percent. Turnovers: 14
FAIRFIELD — Tucker Watson 0-2-2; Reese Teeters 1-0-2; Tytis Cannon 2 (1)-0-7; Wyatt Willey 4-3-13; Bryson Simmons 3 (1)-7-16; Conner Priest 3-8-14; James Bentley 6-1-13. TOTALS — 19 (2)-23-67. Free throw shooting: 23 of 33 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: Cannon, Simmons. Field goal shooting: 21 of 46 for 46 percent. Turnovers: 12.