KETTERING — Fairmont’s ‘Twin Towers’ consisting of 6-foot, 2-inch players Madeline Westbeld and Madison Bartley couldn’t prevent the Wayne girls basketball team from repeatedly driving inside for scores Saturday.
The two freshmen players will be a force to be reckoned with and will no doubt make their mark as future standouts for Fairmont, but against Wayne’s experience they were overmatched.
Sophomores Destiny Bohanon led Wayne with 12 points, Olivia Trice had 11 and Dominique Camp had 10 to help power Wayne to a 56-36 victory.
Fairmont hung tough in the first quarter to trail by only one entering the second period, but by halftime Wayne opened up a 27-13 lead by limiting the Lady Firebirds to only four points in the second eight minutes of play.
Westbeld, who was held scoreless in the first half, pumped in seven points in the third quarter as Fairmont fought its way back into the game. Westbeld got Fairmont’s first bucket of the second half and junior guard Jamie Pacenta buried a 3-pointer. Westbeld drew a foul from Camp and converted one two free throws to cut Wayne’s lead to 27-20, but that’s as close as Fairmont could get.
The third quarter ended with Wayne leading 35-27 but the Lady Warriors went on a 7-0 run to open the fourth quarter to build a 15 point lead and never looked back.
With the victory Wayne clinched the National East division title and improved to 14-4 overall and 9-0 in division play. Division rival Fairmont falls to 7-11 overall and 3-6 in National East play. Pacenta led Fairmont with 12 points while Westbeld and Mariah Roe had 10 points each.
Fairmont played a very physical game. Wayne forward Maya Dunson, who can usually muscle her way inside without any problems, got knocked down a few times in the first half trying to score inside.
“You know, you’ve got to remind the girls that this is a physical sport,” said Wayne Coach Sonya Miller. “Regardless of the play you just have to fight through it, play hard and be mentally tough.”
Miller credited Fairmont for its ability to close the gap early in the third quarter.
“We focused on starting the quarter strong in the second half so we wouldn’t let down, but we didn’t do a good job there,” she said. “Then we picked it up by getting a couple of steals. Defense is the staple of who we are and that did turn the game around. The team played great and we clinched the division with this game, which is a great feeling to have.”
The tournament drawing will be held on February 5 when Wayne will learn what opponent it faces in the sectional tourney.
WAY 10 27 35 56 – 56
FMT 09 13 27 36 – 36
Wayne: Dominique Camp 10, Nyla Hampton 2, Mali Morgan-Elliott 6, Destiny Bohanon 12, Olivia Trice 11, Shai McGruder 8, Maya Dunson 7. Totals: 20-13-56.
Fairmont: Mariah Roe 10, Olivia Frank 1, Jamie Pacenta 12, Madeline Westbeld 10, Madison Bartley 3. Totals: 13-7-36.
3-point goals: Wayne 3 (Trice); Fairmont 3 (Pacenta 2, Roe).
Records: Wayne 14-4 (9-0), Fairmont 7-11 (3-6).
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind