Fairland girls beat Portsmouth West
ATHENS, Ohio -- Sunday certainly wasn't the prettiest game Fairland has played during its undefeated 2012-13 season.
But for the Dragons, there is nothing more beautiful than hoisting a district championship trophy and cutting down the nets.
Fairland overcame a tough shooting performance with stifling defense to earn a 46-32 win over Portsmouth West in the Ohio Division III district championship game Sunday afternoon at Ohio University's Convocation Center.
"Defensively, I felt like we did a pretty good job," Fairland coach Jon Buchanan said. "For the most part, we did what we wanted to do defensively. We have a pretty good dynamic of getting the top girl in our zone to put pressure on."
With the win, Fairland advances to the regional semifinal on Wednesday evening at Logan (Ohio) High School.
Defensively, Caitlin Stone and Taylor Perry dominated out front, hounding Portsmouth West leading scorer Tori Leader and forcing 22 turnovers.
Perry led the Dragons with 11 points while adding four steals as well.
In the game's biggest stretch, the two leaders of each team took their team on their back.
Portsmouth West trailed by double-figures early in the fourth quarter, but Leader got a 3-point play then secured a rebound, drove down-court and kicked out for a 3-pointer by Hannah Cremeans to pull the Senators within 35-31.
However, that's when Fairland leader Terra Stapleton went to work down low.
Stapleton grabbed an offensive rebound and got a putback before running the floor for a finish in transition to push the lead back to eight and start an 11-1 Fairland run to end the game.
"Obviously, we weren't happy about her getting in foul trouble," Buchanan said. "She played a good game when she got to play."
Despite playing just 13:50 due to foul trouble, Stapleton finished with 10 points and seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
Stapleton saw the floor for just under four minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls in the first quarter.
As Stapleton went to the bench, Kelsey Riley stepped up offensively to lead the Dragons to a 21-13 halftime lead. Riley scored eight of her nine points in the first period while adding seven rebounds.
"Kelsey Riley hit a couple of shots in the first quarter to help us out there," Buchanan said. "Those might have been the only shots outside of 15 feet that we hit."
Fairland finished at 32 percent for the game and did not hit a 3-pointer, going 0-of-11 from the outside.
Leader finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Portsmouth West, but she also had eight turnovers in the game. Teammate Taylor Conley had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Senators, who end the season at 14-12.
PORTSMOUTH WEST 9 4 6 13 -- 32: Leader 14, Conley 11, Cremeans 6, Oiler 1.
FAIRLAND 12 9 8 17 -- 46: C. Fulks 4, Stone 8, Swiger 4, K. Riley 9, Perry 11, Stapleton 10.