Walnut Hills picks up the pace, ousts Fairfield 58-47

Fairfield’s Raqwon Williams drives to the hoop defended by Sycamore’s Khadim Fall during their Division I sectional game Feb. 24 at Lakota West. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Fairfield’s Raqwon Williams drives to the hoop defended by Sycamore’s Khadim Fall during their Division I sectional game Feb. 24 at Lakota West. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The roller-coaster ride that was the Fairfield High School boys basketball season continued Tuesday night in Division I sectional action at Lakota West.

The Indians stormed to an early nine-point lead, but Walnut Hills cranked up the pace and ran the Indians off the court in the second half in a 58-47 victory.

Raqwon Williams led 13th-seeded Fairfield with 11 points. The Indians finished 11-13.

“That is the story of our season,” Fairfield coach Jeff Sims said. “All season long, we went in spurts. Sometimes it was a quarter, sometimes just a four-minute stretch, but it occurred all season long. I thought we defended them well in the half court, but they really hurt us in transition.”

Walnut Hills. the No. 7 seed, improved to 17-6 and advanced to a sectional final on Friday vs. Elder at West.

Fairfield was cruising along up 16-7 with 5:30 left in the second quarter before the Eagles called a timeout. Walnut Hills coach Ricardo Hill didn’t mince words, imploring his troops to not only pick up their intensity, but also their pace.

The Eagles came out of the timeout with a much different look. Chase Loring hit two big treys to cut the lead to 16-13 as Walnut Hills closed the half on a 13-4 run to tie the score at 20.

The Eagles came out after half running and gunning, turning a flurry of quick Fairfield shots into baskets the other way punctuated by Kenny Thompson’s alley-oop fast break slam as Walnut to built a 35-25 lead after three periods.

“(Loring) really hurt us with some big transition 3s,” Sims said. “We got a little behind and then we started pressing, playing faster than we wanted to.”

Loring nailed six triples on the night, leading Walnut Hills with 19 points. Kameron Gibson added 13 and Thompson chipped in 10 as the Eagles shot 20 of 43 from the field. Walnut was 12 of 18 from the line, 8 of 11 in the final quarter.

Ben Phillips scored nine points, Aiden Jones had eight and Kyle Schimpf added seven for Fairfield, which shot 16 of 36 from the field. The Indians turned the ball over 10 times in the second half and made 13 of 20 free throws.

“Our seniors have been incredible,” Sims said. “They will leave a legacy in Fairfield for the younger classes to live up to. I couldn’t ask any more of them.”

Fairfield 12-8-5-22—47

Walnut Hills 7-13-15-23—58

FAIRFIELD (11-13): Drew O’Donnell 1 0 2, Devonte Ross 1 0 2, Kyle Schimpf 2 2 7, Chase Pennington 1 1 3, Jeffrey Tyus 2 1 5, Aiden Jones 2 3 8, Ben Phillips 3 3 9, Raqwon Williams 4 3 11. Totals: 16-13-47

WALNUT HILLS (17-6): Kenny Thompson 3 4 10, Chase Loring 6 1 19, Malcom Moffett 0 6 6, Kameron Gibson 6 1 13, Hunter Davidson 1 0 2, Rob Brown 2 0 4, Nick Smith 1 0 2, Jordan Henderson 1 0 2. Totals: 20-12-58

3-pointers: F 2 (Schimpf, Jones), W 6 (Loring 6)

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