Paint Valley, Fairfield Advance To District Finals

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Paint Valley 84, South Webster 47

Despite their sub-.500 record, Paint Valley is advancing to a district finals with a blowout victory over South Webster on Thursday night.

"We just seem to be peaking at the right time," Paint Valley coach Dave Shoemaker said. "The kids have listened. They do what I ask them to do and they've just gotten better and better."

Led by the big three of Anthony McFadden, Clay Stratton and Mason McCloy, the Bearcats erased an early 5-point deficit to roll the Jeeps. McFadden paced the Bearcats throughout finishing with 31 points and seven rebounds. Stratton and McCloy owned the paint combining for 41 points and 18 rebounds.

Senior Levi Cook finished out his career at South Webster by leading the Jeeps wih 26 points and seven rebounds.

The win was Paint Valley's first ever at the Convocation Center. The Bearcats will be seeking their first district title since 1962.

Fairfield 48, St. Joseph 31

Fairfield senior Ryan Bates' exploded for 12 second half points to lift his Lions over St. Joseph and into the district finals.

"Ryan made himself present out there," Fairland coach Everett Snyder said. "He ran the floor well. Even in the half court he did a great job taking the ball to the hole."

The Flyers led after one but the combination of Bates inside and Dacoda Bennett on the perimiter helped push Faifield into taking a 25-20 lead into the locker room at the half. Bennet finished the contest with 10 points and five steals defensively.

Bates' 10-point third quarter helped extend Fairland's lead heading into the final frame where they wrapped up a 48-31 victory. Bates led the Lions with 18 points, two rebounds and two assisists.

Chris Lewis led the Flyers in the loss scoring 8 points and hauling in four rebounds.

With the win, Fairfield sets up a rematch with Paint Valley. In the first meeting, Snyder's squad won by 21 in the Clay Invitational.

"They're a young team but they're seasoned players at this point int he year," Snyder said. "We've just got to make sure we limit their second shots and get back on defense."

Tip off from the Convo for the district finals between the Lions and Flyers is set for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Photos from Thursday's action by WOUB photographer Nick Bolin: