LUCASVILLE — The Western Indians used a smart gameplan and came up with a valiant effort but in the end it wasn’t enough as No. 7 Western fell to No. 2 Fairfield in a Division IV Sectional Final match at Valley High School.
The Indians were lead by Nick Shanks who scored a game high 26 and teammate Dakota Garrett who scored 17 points. There effort was no surprise to Western coach Larry Jordan.
“They are two juniors kids that can score,” Jordan said. “They both generally lead us in scoring. That’s what they’ve done all year long. Garrett is a drop dead shooter, he can flat shoot the basketball. And Shanks just takes the ball to the whole.”
The Indians tried to use a methodical approach in the first quarter to shorten the game and limit the Lions offensive possessions. After a quarter of play, the gameplan seemed to be working as Western lead 10-7. However, in the second quarter, Fairfield began exploiting their physical advantage, outscoring the Indians 19-6 to lead 26-16 at the intermission.
“It’s been the same thing for the last two years,” Jordan said. “Physical strength really hurts us. That was a physical team, a lot more physical than we have. I thought are kids played as hard as we could play. There were just situations were we needed a stop and we couldn’t get a stop.”
Despite the physical mismatch, the Indians came out of the break with a purpose. The slow, methodical approach turned into a fast pace, scoring approach.
Western scored 23 points in the third quarter alone and only trailed by eight points going into the final frame. The Indians continued to find offensive success in the fourth quarter but unfortunately, Western could not get the timely defensive stop to overcome the Fairfield lead.
Despite the loss, the Indians have no reason to hang their head. Western displayed a winning effort, even if the scoreboard dictated otherwise.
“I can’t fault a kid in there that didn’t bust his butt when he was in the game,” Jordan said.
Western loses Dylan Lee and Ethan Riggs to graduation.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.
Western 10 6 23 18 — 57
Fairfield 7 19 21 18 — 65
Western —Shanks 13-0-26, Garrett 4-6-17, Lee 2-2-7, Bry. Brewster 2-1-5, Riggs 1-0-2. Totals 23-9-57.
Fairfield —Montgomery 8-4-21, Bates 6-5-17, Huff 4-1-12, Wilson 3-1-7, Hildebrant 1-2-5, Bennett 0-3-3. Totals 22-16-65
3-point field goals — Western 4 (Garrett 3, Lee); Fairfield 5 (Huff 3, Hildebrant, Montgomery)