PEDRO — In sports, there are some memorable moments and then there are some moments that a team tries to forget.
For the Minford Falcons, one of those forgettable moments took place Saturday as No. 8 Minford lost to No. 1 Fairland 56-19 in a Division III Southeast Sectional Final at Rock Hill High School.
The Falcons did not have a starter reach double-figures in scoring as Minford struggled to find the scoring touch for the majority of the contest.
“We just didn’t have anyone step up and play with the aggressiveness that a game of this magnitude requires,” Minford coach Scott Cayton said.
Brooklyn Yeley, who has been a constant scoring threat throughout the season, led the Falcons with six points.
The Lady Dragons scored the first 16 points in the game, including a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Minford finally broke the scoring drought with 6:15 left to play before the intermission when Carrie Wynn hit a 3-pointer. Wynn returned to action after missing the previous two contests with an injured ankle.
Fairland was led by Terra Stapleton, a University of Michigan commit, who scored 11 points, recorded 13 rebounds and blocked three shots.
“We were just way to tentative,” Cayton said. “I don’t know if we were intimidated by their size with the big girl (Stapleton) inside or the fact that is was a championship game, but we were just way to tentative.
“We weren’t physical enough. We didn’t do a good enough job of getting the big girl out of there and we paid for it.”
The Falcons only managed to score nine points through three quarters with turnovers and cold shooting as the contributing factors for the team. Minford finished the game shooting 14 percent from the field and 22 percent from behind the arc. The Falcons even struggled from the charity stripe, only coveting 5 of 12 attempts.
Minford was out rebounded 32-22 while struggling to hold onto the ball.
“We said coming in that the two keys were going to be not turning it over and not allowing second shots,” Cayton said. “In the first half, those are the two things that killed us.
“It’s a credit to them. That defense will wear you down physically and mentally, and it took its toll on us.”
Despite the offensive struggle, Minford continued to play hard through the final whistle. A prime example of the aforementioned hustle was on display from Kylie Berry who didn’t get into the scoring column but she led the Falcons with seven rebounds.
The Falcons will lose Kylie Berry; Carrie Wynn, Brooke Yeley, Gabby Grose, Abby Fuhrmann, Olivia Thoroughman, Kelsey Conkey
“I’ve coached for 30 years and I’ve thought for 30 years,” Cayton said. “I’ve had better players but I’ve never had better girls. We didn’t have the success on the court that we wanted this year but in two or three decades, the success they are going to have is going to make me proud. These are the best girls I’ve ever been around as a group.”
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.
Minford 0 7 2 10 — 19
Fairland 14 11 21 10 — 56
Minford — Yeley 1-3-6, Grose 1-2-4, Wynn 1-0-3, Fuhrmann 1-0-2, Thoroughman 1-0-2, Conkey 1-0-2. Totals 6-5-19.
Fairland — Stapleton 5-1-11, Fulks 4-1-10, M. Riley 4-1-9, Stone 3-0-8, K. Riley 3-0-6, Dickess 2-0-4, Fulks 2-0-4, Perry 1-0-2, Staten 1-0-2. Totals 25-3-56.
3-point field goals — Minford 2 (Wynn 1, Yeley 1); Fairland 3 (Stone 2, Fulks 1)