Winless at Fairfield since 2011, Hamilton High School’s boys basketball team seemed determined to break that streak Tuesday night.
Unfortunately for the Big Blue, Fairfield senior Terence Gholston had other ideas.
A 6-foot-5 shooting forward, Gholston hit a big 3-pointer at the end of the third before erupting for 15 fourth-quarter points as the Indians snapped a five-game losing skid with a 76-67 victory before a good crowd at home.
“We had a really good two days of practice, and we keep telling the guys we have to prepare to win as much as learn to win,” FHS coach John Cecere said. “We took some good quality shots, we had a lot of guys step up, and it was an excellent team win.”
Gholston was held in check in the first half, but poured in 20 second-half points. As a group, the Indians hit 15 of 28 from the field in the second half, but as much as their shooting hurt HHS, the rebounding numbers told the tale, according to Big Blue coach Sean Van Winkle.
Hamilton (4-5, 2-3 in the Greater Miami Conference) was outrebounded 36-17, including an astounding 21-5 disadvantage on the offensive glass. In the second half alone, the Indians grabbed a 18-7 rebounding advantage.
“I told our guys we can look at offensive execution or our defense, but at the end of the day, when you get outrebounded 36-17, you are going to lose,” Van Winkle said. “It is about height, it is about positioning, but not more than us checking out and playing with desire. Our rebounding is killing us.”
“We talk about our rebounding — it is who we are,” Cecere said. “It has become a staple for us, but give Hamilton credit. I was really impressed by how hard they fought, and a lot of times they had us in bad situations offensively.”
Gholston paced the Indians (4-5, 3-2) with 24 points and was joined in the scoring column by Thomas Kidd (11), T.C. Wells and Ben Phillips (each with 10). Phillips also snagged 11 boards.
Hamilton placed four players in double figures, led by A’Shon Riggins’ 18. Adam Robbins and Jamil Daniels added 15 each, and Ryan Robinson chipped in 10. Daniels scored all his points after halftime and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Nobody else on Hamilton had more than two rebounds.
Early on it was all Hamilton, grabbing a 15-8 lead after a pair of Steve Cunningham free throws. Fairfield erupted, however, scoring the next 13 points. After HHS closed the gap to 22-20, Kidd came off the bench to score eight straight points as the Indians grabbed a 30-22 halftime bulge.
Hamilton closed the gap to 44-41 late in the third, but first Kidd — and then Gholston — hit 3-pointers as the Indians grabbed a 50-44 lead.
Both teams will play Friday. Fairfield travels to Lakota East, while HHS hosts Middletown.
HAMILTON (4-5, 2-3): A’Shon Riggins 5 6 18; Ryan Robinson 4 0 10; Adam Robbins 5 3 15; Hunter Hamilton 1 0 2; Jamil Daniels 5 5 15; Steve Cunningham 1 2 5; Brooks Robinson 1 0 2. Totals: 22-16-67.
FAIRFIELD (4-5, 3-2): T.C. Wells 3 2 10; B.J. Henderson 2 2 8; Cedric Woods 3 2 9; Ben Phillips 2 6 10; Moctar Dieng 2 0 4; Terence Gholston 9 2 24; Thomas Kidd 4 1 11. Totals: 25-15-76.
3-pters: H 7 (Riggins 2, R. Robinson 2, Robbins, Cunningham), F 11 (Gholston 4, Wells 2, Henderson 2, Kidd 2, Woods)
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