Photo by Mark Evans.

Lady Dragons Fall to Fairview in Defensive Slugfest

March 2, 2024

ERIE, Pa. – They say defense wins championships. That certainly held true in the District 10 Class 4A girls’ basketball championship game.

Fairview and Warren combined to score just two points in the fourth quarter as the Tigers held off the Dragons, 28-26, to win their second straight D10 crown.

Trailing by nine at the half, Warren trimmed the deficit to four, 28-24, heading to the fourth quarter. Both defenses, which had already been dictating the game, completely took over in the final eight minutes.

Alana Stuart’s free throws with 2:36 to play proved to be the only points of the quarter.

Warren had a couple of chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute of play. Halle Kuzminski got the ball in the low post, but her shot rolled off the back of the rim and into Fairview’s hands.

Coming out of a timeout, the Tigers tried to inbound with 15.4 seconds to play. Meea Irwin picked off the pass to give the Dragons one final opportunity.

Sammie Ruhlman found Alyssa Farr on the wing and Farr dribbled to an open space just next to the free throw line. Farr got a shot away but it was off the mark at the buzzer and the Tigers began their celebration.

Fairview built its 19-10 halftime advantage thanks in large part to knocking down four 3-pointers in the half. Paige Garrity had two of the four, with Riley Sholes and Ella Garrity hitting the others.

The Dragons cut into the lead in the second half with three 3-pointers of their own, two coming from Alana Stuart.

Stuart did almost all of Warren’s scoring. Kuzminski hit a bucket in the first half, and Farr drained a three in the second half. The rest was all Stuart. She scored eight of her game-high 21 points in the first half, then added 13 more in the second. Stuart shot all eight of Warren’s free throw attempts, making seven.

Ella Garrity and Heidt led the Tigers with seven points each. Paige Garrity and Sholes each added six points.

Both teams will host PIAA Tournament first round games on Saturday, March 9. Fairview will face Knoch, the No. 6 seed from the WPIAL, while Warren will take on WPIAL No. 3 seed Elizabeth Forward.


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