ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio — South Point coach David Adams was pleased and Fairland coach Jon Buchanan was not.
Buchanan’s Dragons defeated Adams’ Pointers 49-41 in high school girls basketball Monday night at the Carl York Center, but underperformed against an upset-minded South Point squad that came to play hard.
Fairland (8-1 overall, 6-1 Ohio Valley Conference) beat the Pointers 61-29 on Dec. 28.
“When the ball was tipped up, we thought the game was over,” Buchanan said. “One team had the opportunity to hang its head and the other had an opportunity for a letdown. I give a lot of credit to South Point. They came in and played super hard.”
The Dragons lackluster effort resulted in 24 turnovers, a 19-for-54 shooting performance and a 6 for 22 effort from 3-point range, negating a 39-24 rebounding edge.
South Point (3-5, 1-5) led 15-12 after one quarter and trailed just 23-22 at halftime. Emma Marshall’s basket 7 seconds before the break gave Fairland a lead it never relinquished.
The Dragons appeared as if they might pull away, leading 35-27 after Marshall, a senior guard, muscled through traffic for a basket with 5:08 left in the third quarter, but the Pointers didn’t go away. Kamren Bruton made two free throws to begin the fourth quarter, pulling South Point within 40-38.
Fairland went on a 9-0 run to lead 49-38 an put the game away.
The Pointers, who committed 40 turnovers in the first meeting, turned the ball over 19 times on Monday.
“I’m really proud of our effort,” Adams said. “We’re trying to be close to people, though, we want to win. We took better care of the ball and we’re getting better.”
Sophomore Tomi Hinkle led the Dragons with 13 points. Marshall scored 11. Freshman Bree Allen scored eight points, grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked four shots.
Bruton paced South Point with 17 points. Sarah Mitchell scored 12.
Fairland returns to action Wednesday at Rock Hill. The Pointers return to the court Thursday when they entertain Gallia Academy.
SOUTH POINT 15 7 14 5 — 41: Jones 6, Roach 4, Mitchell 12, Hopkins 0, Bruton 17, Sadler 0, Staley 2.
FAIRLAND 12 11 17 9 — 49: Marshall 11, Barnitz 0, Brumfield 3, Bruce 8, Allen 8, Hinkle 13, Howard 0, Orsbon 5.