PIQUA – Fairlawn clamped down on Triad defensively and beat the Cardinals, 54-44, in Wednesday’s Division IV boys sectional basketball game.
“Defensively, they’re extremely aggressive. It’s what we expected. It’s just something you can’t replicate in practice,” Triad Coach Matt McCurdy said. “They do a great job of ball-hawking and were really able to limit us in what we wanted to do offensively. That’s what it came down to.”
Triad hung with the Jets for the first half, trailing 15-13 after a quarter and 27-24 at halftime.
Coming in 26 points shy of the school scoring record of 1,473 – set in 1999 by Josh Hollar – Ryan Boyd wasted no time putting 10 points on the board to lead the Cardinals in the first half.
But Fairlawn keyed on the senior for much of the game, limiting him to just a single basket in the second half. In fact, the entire Triad team came out ice cold for the first four minutes of the third quarter and watched Fairlawn build an eight-point margin.
“We said the first four minutes would be big. I felt like they had just a little more energy than we did,” McCurdy said. “You have to tip your hat to them. They definitely deserved that win. We’ve got to get in the weight room and be a little stronger on our end. They were too physical.”
The Cardinals were unable to keep Fairlawn off the offensive glass and had a difficult time hanging onto the ball.
“We just had turnovers at crucial points in the game. And they do a great job of finishing when you turn the ball over,” McCurdy said. “And then they’re relentless on the offensive rebounds. That’s what hurt us early.”
Boyd’s 12 points leave him with 1,459 for his career. Hadley LeVan added 11 points in the game for the Cardinals and Colby Watson chipped in 8.
Fairlawn will advance to the sectional final on Saturday at Piqua High School.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.