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Fairland girls meet Minford in sectional

Feb. 19, 2014 @ 08:22 AM

PEDRO, Ohio -- For the first time in three years, Fairland High School's girls basketball team begins the postseason unranked in the Ohio Associated Press Top 10.

The Dragons figure to use that as motivation, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday when they take on Minford (9-10) in the Division III, Rock Hill 1 Sectional Tournament at Rock Hill High School.

"The state AP writers hate us," Fairland coach Jon Buchanan said. "It doesn't matter. We finished second in the AP poll last year and lost in the Sweet 16. We have bigger things planned this time around."

Each of the last two seasons, Fairland entered the postseason with a 20-0 record.

The top-seeded Dragons (16-3) received a first-round bye in the sectional tournament. No. 8 Minford earned the right to play Fairland with a 48-41 victory over No. 9 Portsmouth on Wednesday. Saturday's winner advances to the Feb. 22 sectional quarterfinals against the winner of Saturday's game featuring No. 4 Northwest (9-9) and No. 5 Huntington Ross (6-12).

"They'll be quick," Fairland senior center Terra Stapleton said. "We played them in a scrimmage in the summer. They know who we are. They'll pack it in and make us shoot from outside, but we can do that that. Caitlin Stone and Jenna Fulks have been shooting well."

Chesapeake (10-10) plays Oak Hill (16-1) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, at Rock Hill. The Panthers earned a shot at the Oaks by beating Coal Grove, 49-37, on Wednesday. The Chesapeake-Oak Hill winner will play either Belpre or Wellston at 8 p.m. Feb. 24.

No. 3 South Point (16-3) takes on No. 9 Ironton (8-11) at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Rock Hill. The winner meets the victor from Lynchburg Clay (14-6) and Portsmouth West (4-13), Feb. 20 at Waverly.

Rock Hill (3-14) plays McClain (11-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday, in the Lucasville Valley Sectional. The victor meets the winner of Alexander and Southeastern at 1:45 p.m., Feb. 22.

South Gallia, No. 7 in the Division IV Meigs Sectional, defeated No. 10 Trimble, 42-37, in the opening round to advance to Saturday's 1 p.m. game with No. 2 South Webster (15-2). No. 8 Ironton St. Joe (14-6) beat No. 11 Green 54-22 on Wednesday to advance to Saturday's 2:45 p.m. game with No. 3 Eastern Pike (14-5). The winner meets the victor from Clay vs. Fairfield at 1:45 p.m., Feb. 22.