FAIRBORN — The host Fairborn Skyhawks rallied from 17 points down to claim a 63-61 win over state-ranked Sidney, Jan. 18 in the Baker Memorial Field House.
When Sidney’s Keith Lee buried a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to enable the Yellow Jackets to double up Fairborn by a 34-17 score, things were looking pretty bleak for the host Skyhawks. But Fairborn pulled to within 10 points through three quarters of play.
Then a Shaunn Monroe shot high off the glass from the right baseline with 4.8 seconds in the contest gave Fairborn the lead for good. Monroe was fouled on the play, missed his free throw, but Tylen Eatmon was there to snag the rebound. Eatmon quickly passed the ball to senior teammate Jared Bates, who was fouled. Bates hit the first of two free-throw tries for Fairborn’s final point in a wild come-from-behind win.
“We really just had to play as a team. That’s what our coaches were preaching for us to do. We just came out in that second half and we executed,” Monroe said, moments after he and his teammates were mobbed at center court by the Fairborn student section. “That last shot wasn’t a set play. We had no timeouts, we spread the floor and I just went in there trying to do what I do best. I had an off night, but we played together as a team.”
Fairborn outscored Sidney, 18-6, in that final quarter of play.
Monroe finished with a team-high 18 points, Joe Nickel scored 14 despite a strep throat, and Jarod Bodekor added 13 for Fairborn (9-4 overall, 6-1 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s South division).
“In the second half, we got to those 50-50 balls, which I think helped our offense,” Fairborn coach Billy Harchick said. “I thought if we gave Sidney one-chance opportunities, we could turn that around on the offensive end. Our defense gave our offense that big spark.”
Sidney, currently ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press state boys high school basketball poll in Division I, is now 10-2 overall this season and 7-1 in the GWOC North. Andre Gordon tied Monroe for high scoring honors with 18 points of his own. Roberts finished with 14 for the Jackets, and the aptly named Trey Werntz hit a trio of treys to finish with nine points.
“Almost every game we play, we are getting the best out of everybody,” Sidney coach John Willoughby. “Tonight, we just didn’t rebound. Our rebounding has hurt us in several games, and it came back to haunt us today.”
Sidney has a nonleague contest scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday Jan. 19 against Lehman Catholic, they’ll then get back into GWOC action on Jan. 22 when they play at Stebbins.
Fairborn returns to action on that same Tuesday, Jan. 22 when they play a 7:30 p.m. contest at Piqua. Two of the Skyhawks’ final eight games are against Trotwood-Madison, the state’s No.2-ranked team in Division II, and the division leader in the GWOC South.
“We have two big games with Trotwood coming up. I think a win like this can give us more confidence. The kids have been buying into what we’re doing since day one, and if they continue to buy in, we’ll have a great season,” Harchick said.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.