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Fairmont hands Lady Vikes first loss

December 10, 2013
Princeton High School

Box Score

The Princeton girls' basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, falling 63-54 to the defending state champions, Kettering Fairmont on Monday, December 9 at Fairmont High School. 

Points were limited during the opening minutes as both prolific teams challenged shots with great defense. As play warmed up, Fairmont was very successful moving the basketball against the Vikings' defense to locate the open player for great scoring opportunities. The Firebirds outscored Princeton 29-19 in the first half, limiting Princeton to 21.4 percent shooting from the floor.

After a strong push by Fairmont to open up the second half, Princeton settled down on both sides of the floor to erase a 15 point deficit late in the fourth quarter. Kelsey Mitchell heated up in the second half, scoring 11 of the team's 14 third quarter points, and 10 points in the final quarter to finish the night with a game-high 34 points.

Trailing 50-42 with 3:22 remaining in the quarter, Princeton's ball pressure forced 5 turnovers that resulted in quick scores. As the gap slimmed to a two posession game, Jade Ballew drove past the Firebirds for a strongly contested reverse layup to draw the Vikings to within a point, 52-51.

As the defensive pressure continue to puzzle Fairmont, the Firebirds were recipients of Vikings' fouls, which was a key difference in the loss. Princeton had 27 team fouls compared to 14 by the home team. Coach Jill Phillips saw three players foul out down the stretch, providing easy opportunities for Fairmont to extend the lead. The Firebirds shot 18-22 from the free throw line in the second half, compared to zero free throw attempts by the Vikings. Fairmont scored 26 of its 63 points from the charity stripe.

Despite the inconsistency by Princeton, the Vikings played tough to the buzzer. Senior Jasmyn Hardin had a career night. The postplayer snatched down 15 rebounds against a talented opposition in the paint. Hardin also sparked Princeton's offense with a key conversion plus the foul to finish with 6 points. Chelsea Mitchell knocked down a pair of three pointers to finish with 6 points. Princeton shot 46.9 percent from the floor in the second half, and the defense recorded 7 steals.

Princeton (3-1) will return to action Wednesday, December 11 against the Lakota West Firebirds. The two teams will tip-off at 7:30pm at Princeton High School.

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