WEST LIBERTY – Fairbanks got physical inside and left West Liberty-Salem behind down the stretch, pulling away to a 58-50 victory in OHC basketball on Friday.
“They were very, very physical, and the officials let us play a little bit,” WL-S Coach Darrin Leichty said. “They’re a very physical and strong team, and we just didn’t deal with the physicality well at times. In the second half, we didn’t deal with it very well. We got pushed out from the basket and didn’t finish a couple of layups.”
The Tigers (1-2) led at halftime, 27-23, thanks to some timely shooting and good defense.
But in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter, the Tigers went cold from outside and watched as the Panthers pulled away.
“Our shot selection wasn’t the best all the time. We were taking some quick ones. We did miss a couple of open ones, too, that could have gotten us back in it,” Leichty said.
While West Liberty-Salem made 7 three-pointers, it was only 1-of-2 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Fairbanks went 14-of-19 at the stripe.
“We’re going to learn (today) in the film room. We’ve got a lot of guys standing around and watching other guys do things. And that’s not how we’re built,” Leichty said. “We’ve got backside screens that should be going on – guys are standing around watching. So we’re going to dig in (today) and get some stuff corrected.”
For the Tigers, Tyler Louden had 12 points and Dillon Callicoat had 11. Max Eggleston also chipped in 11 points.
Garrett Hutchins led all scorers with 23 points for Fairbanks.
In the jayvee game, Fairbanks won, 48-27. Dominic Blair had 9 points to lead all scorers for WL-S, but four different Panthers each had 8 points.
WL-S won the 9th grade game, 47-18. Trevor Woodruff had 11 points for the Tigers.
West Liberty-Salem hosts Greenon on Monday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.