By Scott Halasz
VANDALIA — The Springfield Wildcats had too many weapons for the Fairborn Skyhawks, Wednesday night.
Inside, outside, and mid-range, the Wildcats scored in myriad ways with a plethora of players in a 71-51 win over Fairborn in a Division I sectional tournament basketball game at Butler High School.
Danny Davis was the main man outside, draining five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points — 19 in the first half — and big 6-foot-9 Darius Harper clogged up the middle for 11 points and eight rebounds as the fourth-seeded Wildcats (17-7) advanced to the sectional final against Springboro, which beat Bellefontaine in the early game. Jeremiah Ward added 12 points on a bevy of jumpers.
“We knew that Danny Davis had the ability to shoot from the outside,” Fairborn Coach Nathan Chivington said. “(And) they made individual plays.”
Jordan Pumroy scored 20 and grabbed six rebounds for the ninth-seeded Skyhawks (15-9) and Branden Lilley added 18. But it wasn’t enough.
Seven Wildcats scored while Fairborn managed points from just three players until late in the fourth quarter. Ryan Profitt scored 10 for Fairborn.
“It seemed like there was a lid on the rim at times,” Chivington said. “Once we kind of slowed (Davis) down we still weren’t hitting the shots we needed to.”
Davis was practically a one-man show in the first half. He got got off to a slow start, but eventually he was as good as advertised, draining a pair of 3-pointers, including one from NBA range, and scoring eight points as the Wildcats jumped out to a 20-11 lead after one.
Lilley countered with eight points as well including a pair of 3-pointers to help keep Fairborn close.
The Wildcats rode Davis’ hot hand in the second quarter enjoying a double-digit lead most of the way. Davis scored 11 of Springfield’s 17 second quarter points en route to a 37-24 halftime lead.
Lilley did his best to mimic Davis, scoring 14 in the first half on four 3-point shots, including banking a half-court shot as time expired.
But Fairborn couldn’t build off that momentum.
Down 39-30 with about six minutes left in the third, Fairborn went cold and was outscored 16-9 the rest of the quarter as the Wildcats led 55-39 after three. Every time Fairborn tried to make a run, the Wildcats were able to answer.
“When you’ve got one person with an off night, you hope someone else steps up,” Chivington said. “It seemed like none of us were hitting tonight.”
Pumroy, Aron Childers, Leslen Switzer and Liam Bailey played their final games for Fairborn.
“I’m proud of the effort,” Chivington said. “It’s been a fun ride with this group of seniors.”