Fairmont and Twinsburg in D-I final means there will be a first-time winner

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Fairmont freshman Maykala Waterman scored a game-high 21 points in the Firebirds D-I semifinal win. (Gary Housteau)

The Division I girls basketball Final Four capped the second day of 
the 36th annual girls basketball state tournament Friday at Ohio
State’s Schottenstein Center. Youth was served and so was talent.
Here’s how it played out…


The Division I girls basketball Final Four capped the second day of 
the 36th annual girls basketball state tournament Friday at Ohio
State’s Schottenstein Center. Youth was served and so was talent.
Here’s how it played out…

Kettering Fairmont 59, Toledo Start 50
Despite a roster with one senior, three sophomores and six freshmen,
Kettering Fairmont advanced to its first state championship game in
history by leading start to finish. No pun intended.

The Firebirds built a 15-point lead in the first half (27-12 in
the second quarter) and withstood a late rally by the Spartans. Down 14
in the fourth quarter, Start cut the Fairmont (26-1) lead to 49-45 with
2:08 left but couldn’t climb any closer.

Freshman Maykala Waterman led the Firebirds with 21 points,
while fellow frosh Kathryn Westbald added 17. Sophomore Chelsea Welch,
the lone returning starter from last year’s Final Four team, chipped in
12.

Fairmont shot 55-percent from the field for the game (26-of-47) and hit 60-percen t of its 3s (4-of-7).

Start, in its second Final Four in three years, was led by
senior Maleeka Kynard who scored 16 points and had four rebounds, three
steals and two assists. Senior Azia Bishop added 13 points, while
junior Jaymie Jackson had 10.

*Player of the Game: Kathryn
Westbald, Fr., Fairmont: In addition to her 17 points, the 6-foot-1
forward added 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
*Stat of the Game: Start hit 13-of-16 free throws and
Fairmont shot just seven free throws total. The difference was field
goals. Fairmont made 26 and Start made 16.

Twinsburg 57, Pickerington North 44
The most impressive team of the 16 in the semifinals, the Tigers (26-0)
advanced to their first state championship game with an impressive win
over Pickertington North (21-7).

Twinsburg separated itself
from Pick North in the second quarter when it outscored the Panthers
19-8. The Tigers lead reached 21-points twice in the third quarter.

Standout junior Malina Howard led Twinsburg with 19 points, 13
rebounds, five blocks and three steals. Sophomore Ashley Morrissette
added 13 points, three assists and three steals. Twinsburg outrebounded
Pick North 31-29 and forced 14 turnovers.

Senior Kavunaa Edwards led the Panthers with 13 points and nine rebounds. Senior Shelby Olszweski added 10 points.

Minus the second quarter, Twinsburg outscored Pick North just 38-36.

*Player of the Game: Malina Howard, Jr., Twinsburg: Enough said.
*Stat of the Game: The Tigers hit just 16-of-25 free throws.

D-I State Final: Kettering Fairmont (26-1) vs Twinsburg (26-0), Saturday 8:30 p.m.

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