KETTERING — When you face a really good team, and they’re having a really good week, this is what getting hit with a buzz saw must feel like.
Beavercreek ran into the proverbial buzz saw on Saturday, when they were defeated by a 48-21 count at the hands of No. 7 Kettering Fairmont.
Still on an emotional high after defeating Carroll, the area’s top Division II team and No. 2 Huber Heights Wayne during the week, Fairmont was dominant in its win over the Beavers.
“So we played Carroll on Monday, then Wayne on Wednesday, and now Beavercreek. Defensively, we’re just playing really good right now,” Fairmont coach Jeremy Finn said. “We’re playing really good basketball. We’re rebounding well, … We’re just doing a really good job.
“When our guards start shooting like they did in the first half, and then when defenses extend it out against us, we can dump the ball into our bigs. It’s a tough combo.”
Tough with thorns all over it.
Fairmont has 6-foot-3 Madeline Westbeld and 6-4 Madison Bartley as their go-to ‘bigs’ for inside scores. On Saturday, Beavercreek was packed in defending those two, when Fairmont’s outside hitters — Marika Webster, Mallory Hullinger and Kierra Thornton — started bombing threes.
Meanwhile, Beavercreek had nearly every shot it took contested by one or two Fairmont defenders, and nothing seemed to fall through the hoop.
The result was a 29-4 Firebirds halftime lead.
Hullinger led Fairmont with 14 points scored, while the inside tandem of Westbeld and Bartley finished with 10 and 11 respectively. Fellow starters Webster and Thornton accounted for the Firebirds’ other 13 points.
“They were already very good, and they’re playing very very well now,” agreed Beavercreek coach Ed Zink. “For us to beat them, we have to play a perfect game. We can’t turn the ball over, and we did that. We have to shoot the ball well, though, and we didn’t. They could shoot the ball outside, because we had to defend their two bigs inside.”
Zink liked that his Beavers bunch limited Fairmont to 11 points in the opening quarter, but his team couldn’t manage to score their own points.
“We hold them to 11 points, but we only got two. So there’s no pressure on them to score,” Zink said. “Then they hit those threes, and it just got away from us.”
Anna Landing scored Beavercreek’s only first-half points, and finished with four points. Junior center Zoey Bent made the most of her second-half playing opportunity, and led the Beavers with seven points scored.
“We may play them again in the tournament, so we can’t forget about this game. But right now, I’m forgetting about it,” Zink said.
Beavercreek will play its final home game of the regular season at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5 against Springfield. Fairmont heads to Centerville for its next game, on Wednesday.
Zink is right though. Should the Beavers and ‘Birds each win their first two Division I sectional tournament games, the two teams will meet up again, on Feb. 24 for the sectional final.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.