PIQUA — A late scoring run by Covington cost Fairlawn in a Division IV boys basketball sectional semifinal on Saturday at Piqua’s Garbry Gymnasium.
The Buccaneers rattled off 12 straight points in just over two minutes late in the fourth quarter and ran away to beat the Jets 67-59.
Fairlawn, the sectional’s No. 4 seed, finishes 14-9 overall. The squad will lose two seniors to graduation in Jonah Brautigam and Isaac Ambos but should return the rest of its 13-member roster, including junior guards Ashton and Skyler Piper, who were all-SCAL selections.
The Jets, which beat Covington 60-59 in overtime in a nonconference game on Jan. 25, had a 52-48 lead on Saturday with just over three minutes left.
Zach Kuntz hit on a runner and a jumper and Kleyton Maschino scored on a layup off of a steal to spark the 12-0 run. Covington was able to close the win out at the free-throw line, making 7-of-8 foul shots in the final minute.
The Buccaneers led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter. Fairlawn pushed its lead to 22-15 early in the second but Covington went on a 9-0 run to take a 24-22 lead.
It was a back-and-forth contest over the remainder of the first half. The Jets led 32-31 at halftime.
The trend continued to start the second half as neither team could gain much of an advantage on the scoreboard. Jaden Barhorst made a miraculous shot at the buzzer on a put-back to give Covington a 46-45 lead at the end of the third.
The momentum swung in favor of Fairlawn to start the fourth as Skyler Piper hit a 3-pointer and Dominic Davis connected on a pair of buckets inside to give the squad a 52-48 lead. Covington then took control.
Covington made 25-of-33 free throws — 13-of-17 coming in the fourth quarter alone. Fairlawn was 7 for 20 from the line.
Davis led the Jets with 16 points while Ambos scored 10. Skyler Piper finished with nine points while Ashton Piper scored eight.
Kuntz led the Buccaneers with a game-high 19 points. Kadin Presser had 18 while Maschino scored 13 and Spencer Brumbaugh had 10.
Covington, the sectional’s No. 10 seed, advances to face No. 5 Troy Christian in a sectional final on Thursday in Piqua.
Jackson Center 51, Bradford 14
Top seed Jackson Center cruised to a big victory over the No. 13 Railroaders in Saturday’s last D-IV sectional semifinal in Piqua.
The Tigers built an 18-5 lead by the end of the first quarter and pushed it to 27-10 by halftime. They finished with a 13-0 scoring advantage in the third quarter and 10-4 advantage in the fourth.
Aidan Reichert and Garrett Prenger led a balanced scoring attack for Jackson Center with eight points each. Mason Platfoot, Clay Akers and Camdyn Reese each scored six.
Jackson Center (18-5) advances to face Shelby County Athletic League rival and No. 9 seed Russia (7-15) in a sectional final on Thursday. The Raiders took a first-round bye.
The Tigers beat Russia 55-30 on Nov. 29 and 47-29 on Jan. 10 in SCAL play in regular-season.
Versailles 67, Carlisle 46
Versailles ran away in the second half to earn a victory in a D-III sectional final on Saturday at Vandalia-Butler’s Student Activities Center.
It was the first tournament game for both squads. No. 2 seed Versailles (22-1) advances to face No. 12 Springfield Greenon (13-9) in a D-III district semifinal on Saturday in Vandalia.
The Tigers built a 22-13 lead by the end of the first quarter but the Indians used a 19-11 scoring edge in the second to pull within 33-32 at halftime. Versailles retook control with a 20-12 scoring advantage in the third and finished with a 14-2 edge in the fourth.
Michael Stammen led Versailles with 33 points while Ben Ruhenkamp scored 17 and Connor VanSkyock scored 10.
Carlisle, which was the sectional’s No. 21 seed, finishes 7-16 overall.
• Girls basketball
Minster 57, Parkway 23
The Wildcats cruised to a victory over Midwest Athletic Conference rival Parkway in a D-IV sectional final on Saturday at St. Marys Memorial High School.
The No. 3 seed Wildcats (18-5) advance to face MAC rival Marion Local (20-4) in a district semifinal on Thursday at Wapakoneta. The Flyers beat Minster 33-32 in a conference game on Jan. 16 in Maria Stein.
Minster led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter and used a 19-4 scoring edge in the second to push its lead to 30-10 at halftime. The Wildcats finished with a 14-5 edge in the third and 13-8 edge in the fourth.
Minster shot 21 for 55 (38 percent) from the floor and outrebounded the Panthers 24-17. No scoring statistics were reported.
New Knoxville 44, New Bremen 36
The Cardinals lost to MAC rival New Knoxville in a D-IV sectional final on Saturday at Lima Bath High School.
New Knoxville took a 15-5 lead by the end of the first quarter and led 21-12 at halftime. The Rangers pulled away with a 14-8 scoring edge in the third. New Bremen cut the final gap a bit with an 11-9 advantage in the fourth.
Kaylee Freund led New Bremen with seven points while Elli Roetgerman, Madison Cordonnier and Lily Lennartz each scored six.
The Cardinals, which lost to New Knoxville 34-26 in a MAC game on Dec. 12, finish 14-10 overall.
AIM Media Midwest freelancer Ben Robinson of GoBuccs.com contributed to this report.