HOLLY POND – After stuffing themselves with a Thanksgiving Day feast, fans of hoops filled the stands at Holly Pond High School for the second day of action in the 60th Annual Holly Pond Thanksgiving Tournament.
West Morgan 61, Fairview 52
In the first contest of the day to feature a county team, the Fairview Aggies, fresh off their thrilling, buzzer-beating win over Cullman, took on the West Morgan Rebels.
After the Aggies’ first basket was waived off thanks to a charge and the Rebels’ first basket was voided by a travel, both teams had trouble getting going as the score remained 0-0 in the first two minutes of the game. West Morgan’s Parker Henderson broke the tie, hitting a pair of free throws for the first two of his game-high 23 points, including five 3-point baskets.
Fairview countered with their first bucket, a layup by Luke Yarbrough. The points went back and forth until Henderson hit back-to-back threes to put the Rebels ahead with a 20-14 first-quarter lead.
West Morgan started the second period with a 7-0 run, but it was Fairview that won the second quarter, weathering the early storm and holding the Rebels to just five additional points in the second. Caleb White came up big in the quarter, scoring the last five Fairview points to tie the game at 32-all heading to halftime. Bryson Fletcher had six in the frame, with Yarbrough adding four and Sam Elrod dropping in a pair.
West Morgan’s Peyton Smith opened the third with a three, setting the tone for a quarter where the Rebels would splash in four threes that included a Henderson long ball at the buzzer from 6 feet behind the line to give West Morgan a 47-39 lead. The Aggies got as close as three in the fourth but could not pull any closer as West Morgan improved to 2-0 in the tournament, dropping Fairview 61-52.
Holly Pond 72, Cullman 53
In a game that most fans have had their eye on since the bracket was released, Holly Pond and Cullman clashed in the final game of day two. As both teams slogged through a game full of questionable calls and a total of 53 fouls, two of which were technical, it was the Holly Pond Broncos that came out on top.
Holly Pond started the game cold on the offensive side of the ball, leading to a 6-2 Cullman run on the back of threes from Cooper Beck and Trey Tucker. Midway through the quarter Holly Pond fell into rhythm and rattled off nine straight points to lead to a 21-5 run that lasted the rest of the quarter and put Holly Pond on top 23-11.
Free throws defined the second quarter as Holly Pond and Cullman combined for 22 free throw attempts in the second. The Bearcats were 7 of 13 from the charity stripe while the Broncos knocked down just 3 of 9, but it was the play of Drew Jones and Matt Cahoon that kept Holly Pond in the driver’s seat and up by 13 heading to halftime.
Dylan Finch got the Cullman scoring going in the third quarter, hitting a 15-foot jumper to open the second half, but the Broncos answered by going on a 10-2 run to push the lead to 19 before Tucker nailed a three for the Cats. Holly Pond finished the quarter on an 8-2 run to go up 18 after three quarters were in the books.
Cullman continued to scratch and claw in the fourth quarter, never showing any signs of quitting, but could not overcome the large fourth quarter hole, falling to the Broncos 72-53.
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