MECHANICSBURG — The Fairlawn Jets had a Tuesday night County game against the Fort Loramie Redskins, and didn’t find out until that day that they would also have to come right back and play a makeup game the following night.
That game was a non-leaguer at Mechanicsburg, postponed on Jan. 12. But the rare Wednesday night game didn’t bother the Jets, who started fast, then hung on at the end to come away with a 62-50 victory.
“I don’t think anybody on our staff or any of the players have ever had a Wednesday night game during the season, and we didn’t find out until real late that we were playing it,” said Fairlawn coach Justin Tidwell. “But we got off to a great start.”
The Jets won for the third time in a row to up their record to 10-6 on the year. The contest was the second of five consecutive road games for Fairlawn, with the next one coming up Friday night in County play against the Houston Wildcats.
The Jets came out firing and threatened to blow the game open right at the start. They sped to an 11-0 lead before settling for a 17-9 advantage after one quarter.
Mechanicsburg cut two points off the lead by the half but the Jets had a good third quarter, outpointing the Indians 16-10 for a 12-point lead heading into the final period. However, things got a bit tense down the stretch when the Indians cut the lead down to five at one point. But the Jets didn’t let it get any closer.
“We really stepped up our defensive intensity in the early going,” Tidwell said. “But we slacked off a little bit and let them hang around. We never finished them off, and they were able to come back on us. But we did what we needed to do at the end.”
The Jets got another outstanding game from high-scoring Nathan Lessing, who poured in 27 points. Drew Brautigam added 11 points.
“Mechanicsburg played us straight man-to-man,” said Tidwell. “They had two real good athletes, and they’re a solid team all around. Any time you go on the road and get a win, it’s a good night.”
Tidwell now turns his attention to the Houston Wildcats, who come into Friday’s game with three wins in their last four outings.
“We’re in a tough stretch of road games right now,” said Tidwell. “And we’ll have our hands full with Houston. They are playing very well right now. Then we come back next week at Jackson Center. But we’re looking forward to it. Playing games like these at this stage of the season definitely helps prepare you for the tournament.”
Fairlawn (62) — Lessing 27, Reck 2, N. Brautigam 1, Curtner 6, Johnson 4, Hammond 8, Hickman 3, D. Brautigam 11.
Mechanicsburg (50) — Harvey 3, Cushman 6, Waring 3, Butsch 6, Taylor 10, McMannis 7, Butcher 2, Welch 13.
Score by quarters:
Fairlawn—17 31 47 62
Mech’burg—9 25 35 50
Three-pointers: Fairlawn 1 (Hickman); Mechanicsburg 6 (Cushman 2, Taylor 2, Butsch, Waring).
Records: Fairlawn 10-6, Mechanicsburg 3-9.