TROY — Centerville used a 25-2 scoring spurt to blow open a close game and cruise to a 74-38 win over Fairborn in a Division I girls basketball tournament game, Feb. 15 at Troy.
The surge — which began with 3:26 left in the second quarter — included 21 straight points by the Elks, who led 26-21 when it started and 51-25 when Fairborn finally scored again with 4:23 left in the third.
Game. Set. Match.
“I think it took our momentum out of us,” Fairborn Coach Brooklyn Summitt said. “Against a team like Centerville, who is just going to keep going and going … it’s hard for us to continue to go head-to-to head with that. They’re a great team. Very well coached. Hard-working team.”
No. 17 seed Fairborn was able to hang with the No. 3-seeded Elks early, and every time Centerville threatened to pull away, the Skyhawks answered. Down 3-2 after a Natalie Oktavec three for Fairborn, Centerville went on a 10-1 run to lead 12-4 with 3:28 left in the first. Fairborn then scored seven straight after baskets from Cassidy Mustard, Jodee Austin, and Nakiah Dunman to make it a one-point game.
Centerville’s Cotie McMahon made a pair of free throws and teammate Ashley Ballard made a layup at the buzzer to give the Elks a 16-11 lead after one. Centerville built a 26-16 lead midway through the third after a George three-pointer and an Amy Velasco bucket, but an Oktavec tree-pointer and a basket by Khala Powell cut it to 26-21.
A fast-break bucket by George started the Elks stampede.
“Played hard until the end. I’m very proud of the girls,” Summitt said. “They tried to be as consistent as they could be. I think we really improved at putting four quarters together. We were just a little inexperienced.”
Oktavec led Fairborn with 15 points, while Austin added six and Powell five. McMahon led all scorers with 28, while George added 13.
Centerville is 15-8 overall and takes on No. 15 Franklin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb, 20. Fairborn ends its first season under Summitt 7-15 and returns four of its top five scorers.
“It’s definitely a big culture change for us,” Summitt said.
Fairborn’s seniors include Powell, Makenzi Culbertson, Jasmine McMoore, Kaya Milby, and Miyu Williams.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.