Fairfield's Peyton Magee led the Lady Lions with 17 point in their win over Lynchburg-Clay Thursday. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Fairfield's Peyton Magee led the Lady Lions with 17 point in their win over Lynchburg-Clay Thursday. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
LEESBURG — It hadn’t happened in a decade, but for the first time since the 2008 season the Fairfield Lady Lions defeated the visiting Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs by a 61-52 score, and they did so by holding on to the lead at the conclusion of every quarter.

In the Southern Hills Athletic Conference game on Thursday night, Fairfield and Lynchburg-Clay played closely in the opening frame with Fairfield leading by four points after eight minutes at 18-14.



Opening the first frame at Grandle Gymnasium, Madison Bronner was first to score in the SHAC contest, putting Fairfield in front at 2-0. Logan Binkley tied the game for Lynchburg-Clay, but Ella Newkirk broke the tied score with two free throws, and the Lady Lions never trailed for the remainder of the game. Binkley finished with 10 points and six rebounds in the loss.

As the first frame continued, the Lady Lions (2-0, 5-1) added two points off free throws by Bronner, but those points were exceeded with a 3-pointer by Serena Smith of LCHS to make it a one-point deficit with 4:08 left on the first-quarter clock.

Fairfield’s Bronner and Lynchburg-Clay’s Binkley exchanged baskets, and following a timeout by the Lady Lions, Bronner again came up big for the Lady Lions with a basket for a 10-7 advantage. LC answered with a jumper by Sierra Benney, but FHS was waiting with a 3-pointer by Emma Fouch with 2:16 on the first-quarter clock for a 13-9 advantage. Benney ended the game with seven points.

LC (0-2, 1-3) scored a point off a free throw made by Benney, and Zoe Fittro — who led all scorers with 19 points (three 3-pointers, four rebounds, five steals) — added two points with points in the paint, making it a one-point differential on the scoreboard at 13-12. Fairfield’s Hailey Tolle made two free throws, but those points were equaled with a basket by Fittro.

The Lady Lions ended the first quarter with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Fouch for an 18-14 lead for the host Lady Lions. Fouch finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers and a two-point basket.

“We certainly knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and their (LCHS) defense and the way they played it and switched it up gave us some problems, and we didn’t get a lot of open shots,” FHS head coach Chad Hamilton said. “Luckily we knocked down the ones we had, and I thought we struggled on the boards. It took us a while to match their intensity, but we figured it out in the end.

“We have some girls who can shoot the basketball when they get into a rhythm, and give credit to Lynchburg-Clay, I don’t know if we had any wide-open shots. They played really good defense and gave us problems.”

Fairfield won the second quarter at 12-8, though it was LCHS who scored the first four points of the frame, tying the score at 18 with a free throw by Fittro, a jumper from Smith and a free throw by Benney with 5:16 left in the quarter.

Fairfield went back in front with a basket by Bronner, though with 4:46 left in the second Fittro tied the score at 20 with a basket. The Lady Lions went back in front again — and the score wasn’t tied for the remainder of the game — with a 3-pointer from Newkirk with 4:36 left in the first half.

Newkirk finished the game with nine points, as she totaled a two-point basket, a 3-pointer and was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.

From there, Peyton Magee — who led the Lady Lions with 17 points (including two 3-pointers) — added two points for FHS, but a jumper from LC’s Kaylee Lunsford brought the Lady Mustangs back to within three points of the host team. The second frame ended with FHS scoring the final four points of the half off baskets by Fouch and a jumper from Magee for a 30-22 halftime lead.

Being that the Lady Lions are all freshmen and sophomores, Hamilton spoke about the resilience his team showed throughout this game.

“We can make adjustments when we need to, and I think the future is bright, but we still have some learning to do,” Hamilton said.

Fairfield never lost the advantage in the third quarter with them adding 19 points in the quarter and extending their lead to 11 points at 49-38. Magee knocked down consecutive 3-pointers for the Lady Lions, including one at the 6:33 mark of the third for a 36-24 lead, pushing the FHS lead to 12 points.

LC battled back with a layup from Smith (who finished with nine points), a put-back basket by Binkley and a 3-pointer from Benney for a 36-31 score, cutting the Lady Lion lead to five points with 4:15 left in the third frame and forcing FHS to call a timeout.

One minute after the timeout, the Lady Lions added to their lead with a layup from Bronner and a 3-pointer by Fouch from the corner for a 41-31 lead, extending the Fairfield lead back to 10 points with 2:48 left in the third.

LC came back with a 3-pointer of their own by Fittro, and as the quarter continued, both teams added to their respective score, with Cadence Saunders, Fouch and Bronner wrapping up the third-frame scoring for FHS. Bronner totaled 16 points in the win.

“I thought Cadence Saunders played phenomenal. She normally is a defensive stopper and couldn’t care less if she shoots the ball, but she creates opportunities for others, and she did that tonight coming off the bench,” Hamilton said.

In the fourth and final frame, LCHS didn’t make things easy for Fairfield, with the visitors chipping away at the Lady Lions lead, getting it all the way down to two points with 2:45 left in the fourth.

LC opened the fourth with a layup from Smith and followed with a 3-pointer by Fittro. After a jumper from Fairfield’s Newkirk, Serene Walker — who also collected 13 rebounds — brought LCHS to within six points of the lead with a put-back bucket with 5:44 remaining in regulation.

Farfield made a free-throw conversion by Braylynn Haines, only to see another 3-pointer from Fittro and two points in the paint by Binkley for the 52-50 score with 2:45 left in regulation, forcing the Lady Lions to call a timeout.

FHS came back to make their lead four points with a basket by Bronner, but that advantage didn’t last with Lunsford sinking a jumper for LCHS for a 54-52 deficit with 1:48 left in the fourth.

That was as close as the Lady Mustangs got to the lead of Fairfield with Magee sinking a jumper under heavy pressure, then making three free throws. Two more free throws were made by Newkirk to build the final nine-point lead.

“The biggest difference was Fairfield shot 50 percent from the 3-point line, and that is phenomenal. We didn’t get on their shooters to contest their shots, and if a couple of those shots don’t go in it is a different ball game,” LCHS head coach Whitney Lewis said. “Credit to Fairfield for shooting lights-out and putting the ball into the basket.

“We struggled with that. I thought our defense was good, other than letting the shooters come out every now and then, but our pressure defense was good, and we fought for some loose basketballs. We keep a stat for deflections and we had 38 of those, and I’m super happy about that.”

There was no JV game played.

Next for Fairfield is a game at home Saturday against Paint Valley. They will also play Monday, Dec. 9 against the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats in SHAC action.

The Lady Mustangs will play at home on Monday, Dec. 9 against the North Adams Lady Green Devils in an SHAC contest.