Girls Basketball

Fairfield falls, but Madison advances in postseason play

LIBERTY TWP. — Fairfield High School’s girls basketball team displayed an immense amount of effort in its Division I sectional opener.

It just wasn’t early enough.

Myka Richardson scored 16 points, Kayla McCoy added 12 and the No. 20 seed Indians staged a late comeback that fell short in their 58-49 loss to the No. 14 Walnut Hills Eagles on Thursday night at Lakota East.

“They showed some heart, and I can appreciate that,” Fairfield coach Carl Woods said. “Because it was really ugly. But they showed some pride.”

Walnut Hills coach Adam Lazar got his 200th career win, which advances the Eagles to face Milford on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Lakota East.

“It’s hard to put into words,” said Lazar, who is in his 14th season at Walnut Hills. “It just means I’ve been fortunate enough to have great players. Great players, great coaches, great administration — from my principal, all the way down to my superintendent. I’m just lucky they let me hang around this long. That’s really what it means.”

The Eagles had four players score in double figures — Cylee Leggett (16), Jasia Ross (16), Savanna Hayes-Bogle (11) and Anaya Hawkins (10).

The Indians (9-14) slipped behind 15-10 in the first quarter and 30-17 at the half due to a plague of turnovers. The Eagles (14-8) were simply faster, too.

“We’ve just got to come out from the jump,” Richardson said. “We always seem to play down to their level, and then they always make a run.”

Walnut Hills owned its largest lead at 47-23 near the end of the third quarter. Then the Indians started to make their surge thanks to a 17-2 fourth-quarter run that was capped by a Richardson pull-up 3-pointer. Fairfield closed the margin to 51-46 with 1:50 remaining but couldn’t inch any closer.

“They just finally listened,” Woods said. “One of our keys to the game was put on our board. This game was going to come down to who wants it more, and Walnut Hills came out and showed us that they wanted it more for three quarters. But you can’t spot any team 24 points and expect to win.

“I felt the girls warmed up great. I felt like they were confident. We had a good game plan in place.”

Walnut Hills outrebounded Fairfield 43-23, including a 16-4 offensive margin.

“I wish I could show you our keys to the game,” Woods said. “Limit turnovers. We must contain and block them out. We’ve got to win the 50-50 game. They beat us in all those aspects.”

Lazar said the scouting report suggested Fairfield was going to play zone defense “since it’s something we’ve kind of struggled with during the season. We were lucky that we had a week and a half to practice. We really hammered it. We were going to see this zone, and we were ready to go. They responded for us.”

Fairfield graduates seniors Kimberlin Samples, Anyla Ramey, DaJanaye Lattimore and Richardson. Richardson led the team in every statistical category, including 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds a game.

“We’re losing a major, major piece,” Woods said of Richardson. “That’s a D-I athlete right there. She’s going to definitely play ball at the next level.”

“It’s been great,” Richardson added of her prep career. “I didn’t play my freshman year. I sat out and got to thinking about quitting. But I’m glad I didn’t.”


COVINGTON — Liv Carpenter scored a team-high 16 points, Emily Webb had 11 and Kylie Wells added 10 as No. 9 Madison beat No. 8 Arcanum in a Division III sectional opener on Thursday  night.

The Mohawks (17-6) will face Milton-Union on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Covington.

Carpenter scored nine of her points in the first quarter. The game was tied 16-16 heading into the second period.

The Mohawks held the Spartans (14-9) to three field goals in the second and third quarters and led 34-25 going into the final frame. Madison stymied an Arcanum surge before closing it out.

Caroline Long scored a game-high 18 points for the Spartans. Brooke Anderson had 10.

Madison lost to Arcanum 53-44 during the regular season less than a month ago. The Mohawks have won four of their last five games.

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