FAIRBORN — Balanced scoring, perhaps some familiarity with the rims, and a boisterous Sixth Man helped Fairborn record a 79-62 win over cross-county rival Xenia, Dec. 21 in the Baker Middle School gym.
With two of the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s three top shooters on the floor — Xenia’s Samari Curtis and Fairborn’s Shaunn Monroe — trading buckets either way, someone had to step up to give his team the edge. When the screaming stopped and the final horn had sounded, it was Fairborn who came up with the more balanced attack.
Four Skyhawks finished with double-figure scoring, with Monroe leading the way with 24 points. Tylen Eatmon scored 15 points, Joe Nickel added 14, and O.J. Person was the fourth Fairborn player to notch double-figure scoring with 12.
“The coaches and I were just looking at the scoreboard and talking about how balanced we were tonight,” Fairborn coach Billy Harchick said. “We’ve been preaching to them all year about how we need everybody to step up, and everybody had a good game for us tonight.”
The Buccaneers’ Curtis led all scorers with 30 points, and Zack Gaither was next with nine. Curtis is now 16 points from setting a new all-time scoring mark at Xenia High. Currently, Robert Siwo holds the mark at 1,532 points in his career. Curtis is up to 1,517 after Friday’s outing.
Xenia coach Kent Anderson said he needed some guys to step up to complement Curtis’s scoring abilities. A rowdy Christmas-clad Fairborn student section didn’t help matters any.
According to the Xenia stat charts, the Buccaneers left plenty of scoring opportunities on the rim.
“Our shot charts show that we had 22 missed shot opportunities from inside,” Anderson said. “We can’t miss that many shots inside and still expect to play well against a team as good as Fairborn, and how they were bombing threes against us. I mean, they had seven threes in the first half.
“If we’d counter that by finishing inside … 22 misses! That’s 44 points we left out there. … We’ve gotta get mentally tougher. I’m not gonna sugar-coat it. We have to get better.”
Fairborn drained 10 3-pointers for the game.
Perhaps the loudest moment of the game came at a key point in the contest. Xenia was battling back in the fourth quarter and had just whittled the Skyhawks lead down to six points on Dylan Hoosier’s old-fashioned three-point play with 6:42 left to play.
Fairborn’s Eatmon responded with a posterizing baseline dunk over a Xenia defender to put the ‘Hawks back in control.
The Fairborn fans raised the decibels a bit after Eatmon’s jam.
Barely four minutes later, Fairborn had reeled off a 9-1 scoring run to go back in control, 64-48.
“Oh yeah, that definitely hyped us up a little bit,” Harchick said with a smile. “The students went wild, and we felt it. That was definitely a momentum swing that we needed in the second half. We love that.”
Harchick hopes to ride Friday’s winning momentum into Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 contest down in West Chester against Lakota West. The Skyhawks are now 4-2 overall, 3-0 and even with Trotwood-Madison atop the GWOC South division standings.
Xenia, now 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the GWOC South, has a short holiday break before returning to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28 at home against Miamisburg.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.