Skyhawks happy to play against five others

By John Bombatch Sports Editor

December 11, 2013

SPRINGFIELD — The visiting Fairborn Skyhawks didn’t look at Wednesday’s Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game as a chance to pick on a winless opponent. They were just glad to have enough bodies on the floor to play some 5-on-5 basketball.

Fairborn dressed seven varsity players and five junior varsity players for the game, and most all of them played, in a lopsided 44-16 win on the Wildcats’ home floor.

“My numbers are a little low, so that creates an issue for us when we have practices. We don’t have enough players to practice against each other (with 5-on-5),” first-year coach Bridgett Williams explained. “We don’t get the reps to really work on our game plan during the week. So coming into this game, we didn’t look at Springfield as a winless team. We looked at it as an opportunity to do some things we don’t usually get to execute in practice.”

Fairborn rolled out to a 19-2 lead after the first quarter of play. The Skyhawks were then outscored 10-7 in the second quarter to make the score 26-12 at the half, then they pulled away by outscoring the Wildcats 18-4 the rest of the way.

Kayla Patterson led all scorers with 13 points, and Aaliya Patton finished with 12 to lead Fairborn (3-4).

Kailyn Swinder and Ja Nai Mitchell were the only Springfield players who scored more than two points in the contest, with four each.

First-year coach Robert Thomas couldn’t be found after the game. Williams said she and the Wildcats’ first-year coach commiserated before the game.

“We’re in the same boat. He was hired two days before the parents meeting, so he didn’t get to work with his players over the summer, either,” Williams said. “Without that summer session, it doesn’t give you very much time to work with your kids.”

Williams was happy with the win, but not with Fairborn’s execution.

“We may have won the battle in the point category, but I feel that our execution still needs a lot of work.”

Fairborn reserve guard Jaia Jackson appeared to injure her left knee in the game’s final minute, and had to be helped off the court to the visitor’s locker room. Williams said Jackson has been dealing with knee issues off and on for much of the season so far. Jackson was seen limping around with a large ice pack on her knee after the team left the locker room.

The Skyhawks will host Greenville for the GWOC Showcase game on Saturday. Both the boys and girls teams — freshman, JV and varsity — will participate, with the first games set to begin at around 1 p.m. culminating with the boys game at 7:30 p.m.