Dragons win State championship


By Martin Graham and Chris Hoppes - mgraham@aimmediamidwest.com - choppes@aimmediamidwest.com



The Fayette Country Dragons celebrate after winning the Special Olympics State Division II basketball championship Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Dover, Ohio.

The Fayette Country Dragons celebrate after winning the Special Olympics State Division II basketball championship Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Dover, Ohio.


Courtesy photo

The Dragons hold their State championship trophy aloft after winning the title in Dover on Saturday, March 24, 2018.


Courtesy photo

DOVER — The Fayette County Dragons are State champions!

The Dragons captured the Special Olympics Division II tournament title with a 59-38 win over the Darke County Dawgs Saturday, March 24 in Dover.

The Dragons began the game on an 8-0 run.

Darke County battled back by dominating the boards early, with the Dragons holding a 13-10 first quarter lead.

“In the second and third quarters, our team speed and aggressive defense took over,” Dragons head coach Brandon Runk said. “We went on a 45-11 run.

“My bench played the entire fourth quarter,” Runk said. “As I’ve said over and over this year, this team is so unselfish. They don’t care who scores as long as we score.

“I am so proud of this team and my assistant coach,” Runk said. “I’m so thankful Caleb McKinney could help me guide this team to our first-ever state championship.”

Levi Runk led the Dragons with 13 points.

Tyler Wallace and William Curnutte both scored 12 points and Matt Daniels scored nine.

Miguel Molina had eight points and Devin Ison scored five.

Forsythe led the Darke County Dawgs, and the game, with 20 points.

Dickey had six points, and Staver, Hines and Detling each scored four points.

Tim Stewart, Community First Coordinator/Special Olympics Coordinator for the Fayette County Board of DD, said the whole experience of going through the final four and winning the state championship was unbelievable.

“We had a lot of fans come out and show support,” Stewart said. “The team played outstanding and it was definitely a weekend I won’t forget. I’m sure the coaches and players will never forget either.”

Stewart said the team will pick practice back up in November before they take on Division I and hopefully bring a state title from the most elite division there is for Special Olympics basketball.

“Our program wouldn’t be what it is today without the coaches and volunteers that I have,” Stewart said. “Whether it is the coaches for the teams or someone behind the scenes who doesn’t get a whole lot of credit but are so willing to jump in whenever and wherever they are asked, our staff is amazing.”

“I could never have seen us winning a state title,” Stewart said. “The team has truly been remarkable since the beginning of the year. We dedicated the season to Oscar McKinney and I think we couldn’t have honored him any better way then bringing home that state championship.”

For more information about the Fayette County Special Olympics programs, to volunteer, or if any eligible person would like to take part in the many programs, contact Tim Stewart at the Fayette County Board of DD at 740-335-7453.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

FCD 13 20 25 1 — 59

DCD 10 4 7 17 — 38

J-V Dragons win consolation game at State

The J-V Dragons team won their consolation game Saturday, 50-18.

Timothy Runnels and Rodney Ison both scored 18 points for the j-v Dragons.

Shandon Shadburn scored six points, Chris Runnels, Elijah Brown, Thomas May and Gannon Adams each scored two points. Erin Bell also played in the game for the Dragons.

“I am extremely proud of each one of our players,” Dragons’ j-v coach Andi Strahler said. “They have each made major improvements since the beginning of the season and that helped us make improvements as a team.

“Starting out the season, we were very doubtful of even winning one game,” Strahler said. “And we ended up being the third-best team in Division 5. Everyone of our athletes should be very proud of everything they have accomplished this season.”

The Fayette Country Dragons celebrate after winning the Special Olympics State Division II basketball championship Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Dover, Ohio.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/03/web1_Dragons-win-state-1.jpgThe Fayette Country Dragons celebrate after winning the Special Olympics State Division II basketball championship Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Dover, Ohio. Courtesy photo

The Dragons hold their State championship trophy aloft after winning the title in Dover on Saturday, March 24, 2018.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/03/web1_Dragons-receive-State-trophy-1.jpgThe Dragons hold their State championship trophy aloft after winning the title in Dover on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Courtesy photo

By Martin Graham and Chris Hoppes

mgraham@aimmediamidwest.com

choppes@aimmediamidwest.com