Hamilton’s Braedyn Jackson defends Fairfield’s Caleb Cropenbaker during Tuesday night’s game at the Hamilton Athletic Center. Host Hamilton won 70-57. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

Prep basketball: Hamilton’s homestand starts with conquest of Fairfield

HAMILTON — Hamilton High School’s boys basketball team is cranked up right now, just in time for a month-long homestand.

D’Marco Howard, Trey Robinson and Jaylen Robinson combined for 55 points Tuesday night as Big Blue thumped Fairfield 70-57 at the Hamilton Athletic Center, earning their seventh win in the last eight games.

“Playing at our house with the student section loud and the band playing … it’s all great,” said Trey Robinson, a 6-foot-6 junior guard. “I can’t wait to play a bunch of games here.”

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Hamilton’s schedule got revamped because its home floor had to be repaired early in the season, and Tuesday marked the first of 10 straight home games for Big Blue.

“We’re in a good spot because we’ve weathered some storms, we’re getting better, and we still have a lot of room to improve,” HHS coach Kevin Higgins said. “This is the weirdest high school schedule I’ve ever seen, but whatever you get is what you play.

“Sometimes home games can be distracting, but I thought our guys handled it tonight. The energy of the crowd was good, and I thought our student section was great. That really helps.”

Fairfield came to town on the upswing, having won four of its last five games, and grabbed a 9-7 lead in the first three minutes. But the hosts got hot and took advantage of multiple FHS mistakes, scoring 14 points off turnovers to rush to a 39-20 halftime lead.

Hamilton High School’s Kurtis Reid converts a jumper during Tuesday night’s 70-57 victory over Fairfield at the Hamilton Athletic Center.

Howard tallied 21 points, eight steals and six rebounds while sinking 11-of-11 free throws, and Jaylen and Trey Robinson scored 17 points apiece. Trey grabbed nine boards and Jaylen had four assists for Big Blue, who improved to 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the Greater Miami Conference.

Trey Robinson said Hamilton’s top three scorers feed off each other.

“For sure,” he said. “If one starts going, the other one starts going and the other one starts going. It’s just never-ending killing teams.”

Devin Turner poured in a career-high 31 points for the Indians, who slipped to 5-8, 2-6. He also totaled seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

“I thought we defended with energy for most of the game,” Higgins said. “We played a really, really good first half, and I thought we kind of controlled the game for the most part. Fairfield did a good job in the second half and Turner was lights out, so we just kind of survived him. We couldn’t really get him out of rhythm.”

Turner, a 6-5 senior guard, put up all 13 of Fairfield’s points in the first quarter. He was 13-of-20 from the floor overall … his teammates were a combined 8-of-26.

“My teammates were setting me up for good shots, and I took ’em,” Turner said. “Hamilton played good defense. I just got some lucky shots off.”

His previous career-best effort was 23 points at Colerain last season.

Hamilton coach Kevin Higgins talks to his team during a timeout Tuesday night at the Hamilton Athletic Center. Host Big Blue defeated Fairfield 70-57. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

“He’s a hard matchup for teams. He’s athletic and he can stroke it, and he’s really worked hard to get better in that way,” Indians coach Jeff Sims said. “We’ve got to get better at putting the ball in his hands where he can really do things. We’ve actually got a bunch of guys that can score. We’ve just got to eliminate silly mistakes and hold onto the ball long enough to not have the other team shoot layups.”

Turner’s 15 second-half points helped Fairfield keep the margin from getting out of hand. The Indians couldn’t get closer than 11.

Big Blue completed their first two-game sweep of Fairfield in the regular season since 2005-06.

“When you’ve got two teams that are playing a rival game, the one who’s most aggressive is going to be the one who wins, and they were by far the most aggressive,” Sims said. “They just wanted the ball more. Every loose ball was theirs. We could’ve gotten more rebounds, but they crashed the boards.

“Our kids fought hard in the second half. They see those guys all summer — they don’t want to just take a beatdown. We don’t always play smart, but we’re always going to play hard.”

Said Turner, “We had a ton of encouragement from our coaches and our players. Our hearts are too big to be giving up on people, especially the people we love. A lot of people came out to see us, so we can’t let them down. We’re going to come out better next game and start another winning streak.”

Allen Caldwell had nine points and seven boards for the Indians. Kurtis Reid chipped in seven points for HHS.

“I thought Kurtis Reid played a great game,” Higgins said. “He got in a little bit of foul trouble or he probably would’ve been in more, but I thought in the first half he played with tremendous energy and gave us a really big boost. It’s not always about the guy who scores the most points. I though he kind of uplifted us.”

On Friday, HHS will host Sycamore and Fairfield visits Middletown.

Fairfield 13-7-21-16—57

Hamilton 21-18-14-17—70

FAIRFIELD (5-8, 2-6 GMC): Devin Turner 13 2 31; Zavian Ricks 2 3 7; Allen Caldwell 2 5 9; Steven Taylor 1 0 2; Caleb Cropenbaker 1 2 4; DaShaun Simpkins 1 0 2; Courtland Smith 1 0 2. Totals: 21-12-57

HAMILTON (8-4, 5-3 GMC): Payton Pennington 1 0 2; Trey Robinson 6 4 17; Jaylen Robinson 6 4 17; Braedyn Jackson 1 0 2; Ke’Von Burnett 1 0 2; D’Marco Howard 5 11 21; Kurtis Reid 3 0 7; Jackson Lewis 1 0 2. Totals: 24-19-70

3-pointers: F 3 (Turner 3), H 3 (T. Robinson, J. Robinson, Reid)

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