Huntington St. Joe's Micheal Mayes looks for an open teammate as he is defended by Fairland's Nathan Campbell (15) and Luke Phillips (14) during their game on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Fairland High School.
Fairland's Nathan Campbell (15) battles Huntington St. Joe's Micheal Mayes (14) for position on a rebound during the first half of the boys basketball game on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Fairland High School.
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio -- Fairland's basketball team had spent much of the night missing easy shots around the rim.
All it took was a two-minute stretch for the Dragons to overcome the shooting woes.
Fairland used a 12-2 run predicated on defense and transition to space out the score in a 58-38 boys basketball win over Huntington St. Joe in the Dragons' home opener Friday.
"We have to get better if we are going to compete on a nightly basis," Fairland coach Nathan Speed said. "We have to start finishing in transition when we get the opportunities. At times, we played hard, which was good. It's not about just playing hard, though. We have to execute."
Fairland (2-1) jumped out to a nine-point lead after one quarter, but could never extend the lead as the Irish scrapped their way to staying in the game.
The game stayed between the 10-to-12-point range as the Dragons missed 12 layups that could've made it an early night.
Huntington St. Joe trailed by 11 and had a chance to cut it to single-digits with just under seven minutes left, but a turnover led to a 3-pointer by Evan Maddox that ignited the 12-2 run that essentially closed out the contest.
The Dragons forced five straight turnovers during the run.
"Our ball-handling just gets atrocious sometimes and we start to hang our heads," Huntington St. Joe coach Ross Scaggs said. "We let a four-point run go to a 10-point run. It's frustrating."
Cody Midkiff scored seven points during the run and finished with a game-high 18 in his first action of the season.
The Dragons also got a big boost from Dionte Braye, who came off the bench to contribute 13 points and seven rebounds. Evan Maddox added 12 points.
Huntington St. Joe jumped out to a 10-4 lead, which prompted Speed to pull his starters to send a message.
The starters got the message, and responded with a 15-0 run to end the first quarter once they went back out onto the court.
"I was a little disappointed in the energy," Speed said. "We were playing our first home game and we came out flat. I felt like (St. Joe) came out a little more energetic."
Michael Mayes led Huntington St. Joe with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Hunter Pratt added nine points and 11 rebounds.