SPRINGFIELD — Whenever Fairborn appeared to have grabbed control of Thursday’s girls high school basketball game with Springfield, the host Wildcats found a way to respond.
Springfield fended off several Fairborn rallies to claim a 66-58 Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover win Dec. 27.
After falling behind early after Xenia transfer Trinity Morton-Nooks’ 3-pointer to start the game, Evelyn Oktavec hit a pair of free throws to draw the Skyhawks within a point of Springfield.
The ‘Cats responded with a 7-2 run to go out in front, 10-4, with just over three minutes to go in the opening quarter.
Oktavec’s drive to the bucket and score with 1:02 left in the half pulled Fairborn within a point, 31-32 in the opening half. But this time, Springfield’s Ty’Marah DeArmond responded with an inside score with 18 ticks left in the half, for a 34-31 Wildcats lead at half time.
Do you see a pattern here? Whenever Fairborn looked as if they’d turned momentum to their side, Springfield responded with a scoring run of its own.
It continued in the second half.
Mickayla Perdue’s jumper from the left side earned Springfield an eight-point lead (43-35) with 2:28 left in the third quarter, but a pair of scores from Natalie Oktavec and another score from Khala Powell led to a 6-0 Skyhawks run to pull the birds back within two points at the end of three quarters of play.
The two teams traded the lead twice in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but a jumper from Jada Bass with 6:22 left to play gave the Wildcats the lead for good. Bass’s bucket keyed a 13-4 Springfield scoring run to give them enough breathing room the rest of the way.
Springfield snapped a three-game losing slide with the win.
Fairborn was enjoying a two-game winning streak, and had won five of its last seven games.
The Skyhawks were led in scoring by Evelyn Octavec, who finished with 20 points. Powell also got into double figures in scoring with 18 points. The Skyhawks are now 6-4 overall, and won’t play again until Jan. 3, 2019. That’s when they’ll host Lakota East for a nonleague contest at Baker Middle School.
Springfield (5-4) was led by Greater Western Ohio Conference scoring leader Mikayla Perdue, who finished with 37 points. She came into Thursday night’s game leading the GWOC with a 19.0 points-per-game scoring average. Morton-Nooks showed signs of her Xenia Buccaneers form from last season, finishing with 12 points scored.
The Wildcats will head to Cincinnati’s Winton Woods High School on Saturday, Dec. 29 to compete in the Braggin’ Rights Tournament. The ‘Cats will open with a 2 p.m. contest against Cleveland’s John Hay High.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.