Defensive-minded Fairfield Union dominates TV to stay undefeated

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RUSHVILLE – Points were tough to come by on Saturday in Fairfield Union’s showdown against visiting Teays Valley, but that’s exactly what the Falcons and their main frontman Hannah Rauch love.

Even though Fairfield Union struggled, powerfully on the offensive, its defense was stifling. The Falcons limited Teays Valley to just 11 of 47 shots from the field and forced 26 turnovers, which was more than enough to carry the Falcons to the relentless 32-24 Mid-State League-Buckeye Division victory.

With the win, the Falcons improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the league.

“Teays Valley are such a good offensive team and we were worried with their shooters and their inside play, but our kids couldn’t have executed a better defensive game plan,” said Fairfield Union coach Ryan Montgomery. “We were aggressive, we got out on their shooters, we turned and communicated well, and it was just great all-round defensive play. If we can play like this the rest of the season, we’re going to be tough. “

Isabella Neal of Fairfield Union shot a Teays Valley defender in the Falcons 32-24 Mid-State League-Division Buckeye victory on Saturday.

Everything for the Falcons starts with the gritty Rauch atop the Falcons’ defense. She is tenacious and makes life miserable for opposing guards with her skills as a bullet hawker. Rauch, who is also one of the Falcons’ top scorers, struggled to find her rhythm on the offensive side, but she largely made up for it in other ways, especially on the defensive side.

“I know defense creates offense and other opportunities, and whenever you can get into the other team’s lead defensively you can see them struggle with their offense,” Rauch said. “I have always had a defensive spirit. When things aren’t going well for me on the offensive end, I really have to step things up on the defensive end and help my team in other ways.

“We’ve always been a defensive-minded team and when our offense doesn’t work well we always increase it on the defensive end and that’s what happened today. We were struggling offensively, but our defense kept us in the game.

Rauch finished with just two points, well below her average, but had eight steals, six rebounds and two assists and helped wreak havoc on the Vikings’ offense.

“To have a leader like Hannah Rauch who goes after people all the time and demands that kind of energy from everyone is huge for us,” said Montgomery. “We put her on the best player every night and tell her to go to work. There isn’t a player in this league that I wouldn’t put on Hannah to stop. Her basketball IQ is through the roof, she knows how to get around screens and keeps people in front of her. It’s a blessing to have a player like her.

Fairfield Union took a 9-7 lead in the first quarter with Claire Cooperider scoring four points, Nicole Terry three points and Elly Lewis hitting a jumper.

However, from there, the luge was difficult for both teams. The Falcons’ defense continued their exceptional play in the second quarter, limiting the Vikings to just two points and 1 of 14 shots from the field. On the flip side, Fairfield Union was able to gain some distance as Terry scored inside and had two free throws and Lewis drained a 3-pointer to give the Falcons a 16-9 lead in the middle. -time.

Teays Valley made things interesting by scoring the first six points of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 16-15, but rookie Christian Thompson posted a 3-point with just over a minute left in the third quarter to give to the Falcons a 19-15 point before the fourth.

Rauch would score his only points of the game in a layup midway through the fourth quarter to take the Falcons’ lead to 25-19. The Vikings scored to close the lead to 25-21 with 2:14 remaining, but it’s as close as possible.

Fairfield Union connected on 7 of 10 free throws in the last minute. Cooperider scored 5 of 6 in that streak and Terry was 2 for 2.

Cooperider finished with 11 points and five rebounds, Terry had nine points and six rebounds, while Lewis and Thompson added five points each.

The Falcons will look to go undefeated as they travel to Greenfield McClain on Wednesday for a non-conference game and return home on Friday to face Logan Elm in a Championship game.

Tom Wilson is a sports reporter for the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. Contact him at 740-689-5150 or email [email protected] for commentary or story advice. Follow him on Twitter @ twil2323.


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