XENIA — Xenia used balanced scoring and a second-quarter spurt to beat Fairborn, 71-53, in girls basketball Tuesday.
Three Buccaneers scored in double figures, led by sophomore Amarie Withers’ 19, as Xenia scored more points than it did in any game last season. Sophomore Kendall Sherman added 15 points and sophomore Bri Randall 13 for 1-0 Xenia, which didn’t win its first game last season until January.
Fairborn also had balanced scoring as senior Jodee Austin scored 13, and sophomore Nakiah Dunman and senior Cassidy Mustard 10 each. The difference was the second quarter during which Xenia outscored Fairborn, 24-7, to take a 20-point halftime lead — a lead that never dipped below 16 points the rest of the game.
Withers scored six points during the decisive second quarter, while Randall had five, and Reaghan Wakefield four of her eight points.
“We just kind of had the first-game jitters,” second-year coach Jessica Threats said. “Other teams had one or two games on us. Once they were able to settle down, we were pretty good from there. “I think they are hungry. I think they understand what was at Xenia at one time.”“
Xenia led, 52-33, after three quarters behind seven points from Sherman and six from Withers.
“These girls were freshmen last year,” Threats said. “They worked, even during COVID. They were able to bring a lot to us”
Fairborn, under second-year coach Brooklyn Summitt, was able to play a game last week, losing to Piqua by six points. But only three players on the roster saw any quality minutes last season. Those three — Austin, Mustard, and Tessa Hoskins (six points) combined for 29 of Fairborn’s total.
“I think it’s going to take time,” Summitt said. “Just learning the system. I think we get in our own heads sometimes.”
Summitt said the combination of inexperience, some girls choosing not to play this season, and all the COVID-19 uncertainty and protocol has made it tough.
“They have handled it really well,” she said. “I’m really proud of our girls.”
Fairborn made a spirited run in the fourth quarter, cutting the score to 65-49 with 2:43 left but the Bucs were able to answer each bucket the Skyhawks made.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.