LEES CREEK – East Clinton and Fairfield went back and forth Wednesday night but in the end the Lady Lions came out on top 60-55 in a non-league girls basketball game at the EC gym.
East Clinton led 22-16 then trailed 32-26. The Lady Lions appeared to be headed to an easy win but the Lady Astros rallied to get with one late in the fourth quarter. A Grace Shope three-pointer put FHS back up 53-49. Lacey Peterman had four points in short order to make it a 55-53 EC deficit and Mackenzie Campbell’s free throws made it a one point game 56-55.
But Shope grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed Fairfield free throw to all but seal the win in the waning seconds of the game.
East Clinton (1-1 on the year) was led by Kaitlin Durbin, who had 14 points and nine rebounds. Bre Davis had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Mackenzie Campbell tossed in eight points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists.
For Fairfield, also 1-1, Shope had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Abigail Newkirk finished with 10 points.
East Clinton struggled mightily from the floor in the first quarter, connecting on just 3 of 17 from the floor. Fairfield was a cool 5 for 9 from the floor and led 13-10 after one.
“We didn’t make anything,” EC head coach Steven Gerber said. “We missed a lot of shots around the rim. They did a good job of getting back on us.”
The Lady Lions extended the lead to 16-12 thanks to an early second quarter three by Chloe Barber. But East Clinton found the bank to be open when Bre Davis cashed in from the wing then Mckenzie Campbell tied the game at 16-16 with 5:58 to play in the second.
EC pushed the lead to 22-16 on a three-pointer by Kaitlin Durbin with just under three minutes to go in the second. Trinity Huff scored on a stickback for Fairfield to cut the difference to 22-18. Grace Shope’s three-pointer took the EC lead down to one 22-21.
Barber made it a 7-0 run by the Lady Lions with a bucket and the visitors led 23-22. Davis ended the scoreless drought for EC with a free throw that tied the game 23-23.
Fairfield was just 4 for 16 from the field in the second while EC improved slightly at 4 for 13.
“We had a lot of good looks, they just weren’t falling,” said Gerber. EC was 19 for 62 from the field for the game.
The Lady Lions continued their surge in the third, ultimately posting a 16-4 run when Blake Adams hit a baseline jumper, with an assist to Shope, to make it 32-26.
Fairfield, up 45-36 at the end of three, was a blister 8 for 12 in the third while East Clinton was a still cold 5 for 15. Shope led the Lady Lions with nine points and four rebounds in the period.
In the fourth, East Clinton made a move. Led by Paige Lilly, the Lady Astros drew to within 45-41. But Huff stopped the run with a scoop shot in the lane and a 48-43 Fairfield lead.
The Lady Astros, though, were not done. Kaitlin Durbin paved the way as EC pulled within 50-49, the final basket a Lacey Peterman pass to a slashing Kayla Hall for two. Fairfield called timeout with 4:26 to go in the fourth.
A three-pointer by Shope and two free throws by Abigail Newkirk put Fairfield back up 55-49. Again, EC was not ready to go away quietly. Lacey Peterman, shortly after sister Logan was taken off the court with an injury, scored four straight to make it 55-53. Campbell’s two free throws with 1:18 to play made it 56-55 Fairfield.
“When we got it to one, I thought we had ‘em,” Gerber said.
Newkirk hit a big layup to give the Lady Lions 58-55 advantage with a minute to play in the fourth. Shope then grabbed an offensive rebound off a Fairfield missed free throw with less than 30 seconds to play to all but seal the win.
UP NEXT: East Clinton will begin South Central Ohio League play Saturday in Highland County against the Hillsboro Indians. Junior varsity tip-off is set for noon with the varsity game to follow.
COUNTY CONNECTION: Chloe Barber, a member of the Fairfield Lions squad, is the granddaughter of Roger and Cate Barber of Sabina. She is the daughter of Sherry and Bart Barber, an East Clinton graduate. Sherry is a Hillsboro High School graduate.
November 30, 2016
@East Clinton High School
Fairfield 60 East Clinton 55
(60) FAIRFIELD (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Newkirk 4-0-2-10 Shope 9-3-3-24 C. Arnold 2-0-1-5 L. Arnold 0-0-0-0 Reiber 0-0-1-1 Huff 2-0-0-4 Barber 2-1-0-5 Tate 0-0-2-2 Young 0-0-0-0 Sowards 0-0-0-0 Adams 2-0-2-6 Barnes 0-0-3-3. TOTALS 21-4-14-60
(45) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) La. Peterman 3-0-1-7 Campbell 3-0-2-8 Lilly 2-0-2-6 Lo. Peterman 2-0-0-4 Beener 0-0-0-0 Durbin 4-2-4-14 Davis 2-0-4-8 Christian 0-0-0-0 Hall 2-0-2-6. TOTALS 19-2-15-55
FIELD GOALS: F 21-44 (Shope 9-21 Newkirk 4-5); EC 19-62
3 PT FIELD GOALS: F 4-9 (Shope 3-5); EC 2-11
FREE THROWS: F 14-28; EC 15-24
REBOUNDS: F-35 (Shope 11 Adams 9); EC-35 (Durbin 9 Davis 7 Campbell 5 Hall 3)
ASSISTS: F-7; EC-7 (Campbell 3)
STEALS: F-6 (Shope 3); EC-10 (Lilly 2 Durbin 2 Davis 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: F-5 (Barnes 2); EC-4 (Davis 3)
TURNOVERS: F-23; EC-14
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports