LEESBURG — The Washington Lady Blue Lions began the 2021 portion of their season with a non-conference game at Fairfield High School Monday evening.
It was Washington’s first game since playing Miami Trace on Dec. 18.
Fairfield won the game, 55-44.
The turning point in the game came in the second quarter, as Fairfield outscored Washington, 17-3.
Washington junior Jeleeya Smith led her team with 11 points. She also had Washington’s only three-point basket of the night.
Senior Emily Semler reached double figures with 10 points and junior Aaralyne Estep had nine points.
Junior Emma Fouch was the game’s high scorer for Fairfield with 19 points. She had one three-point field goal.
Junior Braylynn Haines scored 12 points and junior Ella Newkirk hit two three-point baskets and finished with a total of eight points.
Fairfield took a 5-1 lead only to see Washington go on an 8-0 run to pull in front, 9-5.
Washington led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was most unkind to Washington.
The Blue and White Lady Lions made just 1 of 11 field goal attempts in the quarter, being outscored by the Red and White Lady Lions, 17-3.
Washington trailed 25-12 at the halftime break.
The visiting Lady Lions fared much better, offensively, in the third quarter, making 7 of 14 field goal attempts.
Fairfield kept pace, making 5 of 10 shot attempts in the third. Fairfield scored 18 points in the third to 15 for Washington to set the score at 43-27.
Washington trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter.
Washington saved its best play for last, winning the fourth quarter, 17-12.
The Lady Lions trailed by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter before cutting the deficit to 10 points (48-38) with 2:57 to play in the game.
Fairfield scored seven points in the final three minutes to six for Washington for the 55-44 final.
“Our kids had 10 days off without practice,” Washington head coach Samantha Bihl said. “We resumed practicing last week. Considering all that, I thought the kids played hard.
“There are a lot of things we have to continue to work on,” Bihl said. “Such as our turnovers and taking care of the ball. We made adjustments and I felt like, when they went on a run, we responded every single time.
“Fairfield is a very good team with a lot of tough players,” Bihl said. “We knew they were going to be a tough match-up tonight and that they would put a lot of pressure on the ball. At different moments, we handled the pressure well.
“In the second half, we scored over 30 points, so, we’re seeing improvement,” Bihl said. “We just hope to keep improving as the season goes on.”
Washington is now 0-7 on the season.
Fairfield improves to 8-2 on the year.
There was no j-v game Monday, as Fairfield does not have a j-v team.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 9 3 15 17 — 44
F 8 17 18 12 — 55
WASHINGTON — Emily Semler 3-4-10; Aaralyne Estep 3-3-9; Allie Mongold 1-1-3; Mallory Hicks 1-0-2; Megan Sever 3-1-7; Calleigh Wead-Salmi 1-0-2; Jeleeya Smith 2 (1)-4-11. TOTALS — 14 (1)-13-44. Free throw shooting: 13 of 24 for 54 percent. Three-point field goal: Smith. Field goal shooting: 15 of 45 for 33 percent. Turnovers: 19.
FAIRFIELD — Ella Newkirk 1 (2)-0-8; Caitlyn Quickle 0-0-0; Emma Fouch 4 (1)-8-19; Peyton Magee 2-1-5; Faith Donley 2-0-4; Emmi Vance 1-0-2; Madison Bronner 1-3-5; Braylynn Haines 3-6-12; Shaleigh Duncan 0-0-0. TOTALS — 14 (3)-18-55. Free throw shooting: 18 of 26 for 69 percent. Three-point field goals: Newkirk, 2; Fouch. Field goal shooting: 17 of 44 for 39 percent. Turnovers: 16.