XENIA — Earlier this season, first-year Fairborn girls basketball coach Bridgett Williams had said she needed several pieces to fall together in order for her Skyhawks team to improve. Injuries had to heal, transfer ineligibility issues had to run their course, and players had to get accustomed to playing together.
And if Wednesday’s convincing 48-31 win over host Xenia is any indication, Williams’ Skyhawks might be finally coming together.
Point guard Dominique Redmon sliced and diced her way around opposing defenders to score a game-high 14 points while four other Skyhawk teammates — Aaliyah Patten, Krissie Bennett, Stephanie Mosher and future Cleveland State Viking Kayla Patterson — each chipped in with eight points each in the win.
Trouble could be sensed for the Buccaneers early in the first quarter, right after future Toledo Rocket Unique Conner scored to give Xenia a 2-0 lead. Nearly five minutes later when Conner scored the team’s third point of the contest, Fairborn was in command with a 14-3 lead.
“We were able to push the ball upcourt, and I was able to get off clean passes to my teammates who were getting open. We really were just able to transition really well,” said Redmon. “We played well defensively tonight, and we focused on the ball and our man. It may have looked like we always knew where our teammates were, but (defense) was our main focus tonight.”
Unofficially, Xenia turned the ball over 22 times, to 11 for Fairborn (8-7, 3-2 GWOC South).
“Finally I’m starting to see that continuity that we were missing as a team when this season started,” Williams said. “The system is starting to kick in now, which it should, because we’re starting to get into the second half of the season. I was very glad to see how we came together as a team tonight. It’s something I wanted to see, and that I needed to see in order to know that our team was really progressing.”
Xenia rarely had an open shot. On several occasions, the Bucs would make an errant out-of-bounds pass before anyone could get off a shot. Coach Terry Toliver said that several of his Xenia players were very familiar with their Fairborn opponents.
“Several of our girls know their girls from playing (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball together. Our gameplan was to try and keep them off the offensive glass by putting bodies on them, but number 10 (Krissie Bennett), she hurt us early on in the first quarter. I think she had five offensive rebounds just in that quarter. … We played hard, but we didn’t get to a lot of loose balls tonight.
“I think we’re getting better, I think we’re getting tougher. But again, it’s all about learning to put four quarters of solid basketball together, and we didn’t have that tonight.”
Conner led Xenia (3-11, 1-4 GWOC South) with 12 points, and Autumn Meyer was next with seven. The Buccaneers return to action Jan. 22 for a home game with Miamisburg.
Fairborn is back on the hardcourt that same day with a home contest against Springboro.
Regular starter Katie Profitt sat out Wednesday’s game with a slight knee injury she’d suffered in a game against Lebanon. There’s an outside chance she may be yet another piece of the Skyhawks puzzle to come back together sometime soon.