VINEMONT – No county team is playing better basketball since the Cullman County Tournament ended than the Fairview Aggies. After getting ousted in the first round by Cold Springs on Jan.18, the Aggies have become a different ball club with the opposition getting to see it.
On Thursday night, the Aggies completed their first regular season under coach Eddie Groves by defeating Vinemont 55-43. That capped off four straight for the Aggies with the Vinemont game being their first road win since a 46-38 triumph at Good Hope in the first week of the season.
Fairview is alive with confidence going into the 5A, Area 14 tournament next week. The Aggies meet No. 1 seed West Point at Jim Boyd Gymnasium, but believe they have a chance for an upset due to the current performance of senior forward Austin Fletcher and others who have been inserted into the lineup.
Fletcher has demonstrated his ability to score. In the four-game winning streak, Fletcher has ripped apart the opponent for 104 points, an average over 25 per game.
He took care of Vinemont Thursday night with 32 points, 21 in the second half and all nine in the fourth quarter to protect a 46-35 advantage.
With Fairview leading 29-27 at halftime, the plan was to get the ball into the hands of Fletcher as much as possible in the second half. In the third quarter, the Aggies did that with Fletcher scoring on six of eight made shots and giving the visitors a 43-27 lead with 2:12 to play in the period.
Then he could not be stopped in the final stanza. He started the fourth with a three-point play and it was 49-38, and every time Vinemont made a run, he would put it to a stop on the offensive side.
He scored four straight from the line in a 15-second span with the last two coming at 0:27 and the game was out of reach for the Eagles.
The 32-point outing by Fletcher at Vinemont came three nights after he lit up Hayden for 29 on senior night in a 70-53 romp at Joe Shults Gymnasium.
Truman Boyd got eight points for the Aggies with Luke Yarbrough just coming off the county championship freshmen team and adding six to the total.
Vinemont was led by Corbin Barnett with 16 and Hunter Green 11.
Fairview 63, Vinemont 12 (Girls):
Following the first 5:00 of a hotly contested battle, the Fairview Lady Aggies made it a rout of Vinemont, ending the first with a 9-0 run for a 20-10 lead and scoring 19 in the second, keeping the Lady Eagles off the board for a 39-10 halftime cushion.
It became a 56-11 lead following the third with Fairview on its way to a 20-win season in the third year of the Mary Lauren Hartline era.
Center Abbi Taylor contributed 10 to the victory, but reserve Daiyla Dean pitched in nine as eight reserves accounted for 31 points to help the Fairview starters who racked up 32 on the evening.
Fairview now gets ready to go to Moulton for the 5A, Area 14 tournament Monday with a 6 p.m. assignment against Russellville. The Lady Aggies were second in the area regular season at 4-2 to Lawrence County’s 6-0 record. Lawrence County and West Point play at 7:30 p.m.