Gatlin Luke of Fairbanks drives to the basket during an Ohio Heritage Conference game against Greeneview on Tuesday. Luke picked up eight points in the Panthers’ 56-49 win. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
Fairbanks’ boys basketball team had to deal with some heavy defensive pressure and some accurate three-point shooting from the Rams of Greeneview on Tuesday in an Ohio Heritage Conference crossover contest.
The Panthers, though, received solid bench support to topple the Rams, 56-49.
Coach Justin George broke the game down to a few key items that led to FHS’ win.
“We hit free throws down the stretch,” he said. “We kept our composure.
“We didn’t turn it over too much,” said George. “We made some better choices in the second half and got 15 points off the bench that helped.”
The Panthers, who were coming off of a loss to Greenon last Friday, got off to the slow start.
They tried to find a way to work past the Rams’ persistent press and trap tactics. Greeneview’s defense shut out the Panthers early, which led to a 7-0 lead.
Wyatte Miller’s three-point goal was enough to jump start FHS’ offense.
As such, Fairbanks pulled to within 9-7 at the end of the first quarter.
George said Greeneview’s press was a challenge, but his team handled it well by taking its time moving the ball past midcourt.
“We had to make sure we had the right people in the right spots,” he said. “We had to take our time and get out of the positions they wanted us to be in.
“We needed to make easy passes and not try to fit passes in a tiny window.”
FHS’ Braylon Green found himself in early foul trouble during the second set.
That, however, gave Fairbanks’ bench a chance to shine.
Carter Schultz hit a three from the corner to give Fairbanks a 12-11 lead midway through the quarter.
Mason Winkle, who picked up all of his seven points in the period, enabled the Panthers to hold on for a 21-20 halftime lead.
George said his bench stepped up to ultimately help the Panthers win.
“It was a good team win tonight,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to do those things as we go down the stretch.”
The Panthers found their stride in third quarter.
They worked through Greeneview’s press for 19 points.
Miller, Trey Good and Green all picked up four points during that span.
Sean Galsterer added five points as FHS took a 40-35 lead going into the fourth quarter.
With time running out for the Rams, Fairbanks was handed plenty of opportunities from the free throw line.
The Panthers didn’t let up as they converted eight of their nine shoots to hold on to their lead all the way to end.
The Panthers improved to 7-6 overall and 7-2 in the Ohio Heritage Conference North Division.
Fairbanks will travel to Southeastern in another OHC crossover contest on Friday.
George said the Trojans will be a challenge.
“They’ve got one good player who has been scoring quite a few for them,” he said. “Overall, they are built like us.
“It should be a good match up,” said George. “It is just a tough place to play.”
Miller 5-4-15, Luke 3-2-8, Green 4-0-8, Galsterer 3-0-7, Winkle 3-0-7, Good 2-2-6, Schultz 1-0-3, Brake 1-0-2. Totals 22-8-56.
Three-point goals: Miller 1, Galsterer 1, Winkle 1, Schultz 1
Caudil 6-3-17, Butch 5-2-15, Witt 3-0-8, Allen 3-0-7, Williams 1-0-2. Totals 18-5-49.
Three-point goals: Butch 3, Caudil 2, Witt 2, Allen 1
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