PREP BASKETBALL: Vinemont knocks off top-seeded Aggies to advance to JV boys’ title game

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Teague Whatley (14) lead all scorers with 22 points in Vinemont's win over Fairview Saturday night. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE – This year’s Cullman County Basketball Tournament resumed Monday night with three more matchups at Tom Drake Coliseum, starting with a junior varsity boys’ showdown between (1) Fairview and (5) Vinemont. The fifth-seeded Eagles knocked off the top-seeded Aggies to advance to Saturday’s JV boys’ championship game Saturday at 4 p.m.

The lead swapped hands several times in the opening quarter. Vinemont moved ahead 6-5 midway through the period on a Teague Whatley layup, but two free throws from Peyton Bailey just before the end of the first quarter put the Aggies on top 11-8 going into the second.

The second quarter was scoreless for four minutes of game time before Bailey got a floater to fall through the net and extend the Fairview lead to 13-8. The Eagles found their rhythm on the offensive end after Whatley tied the game at 15 with a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play in the half. Whatley put Vinemont in front on the Eagles’ next possession by knocking in a mid-range jumper at the halftime buzzer to make it 17-15 Vinemont at the break.

Whatley continued to damage in the second half, knocking down another three to stretch the Eagles' lead to 25-17 early in the third quarter. Tanner Brown added to the lead later in the third by converting an and-one play to go ahead 28-19. Austin Riddle then capped off a dominant third quarter for Vinemont with a wide-open layup that made it a 32-22 game going into the fourth quarter.

The Aggies scored the first two baskets of the fourth, but the Eagles answered with baskets of their own to stay in front and Whatley added another three with just under three minutes to play to put the Eagles ahead 39-30. Turnovers made it difficult for the Aggies to consistently chip away at the Vinemont lead and the Eagles pulled away to win it 43-34.

Whatley led Vinemont with 22 points, followed by Tanner Brown with 13. For the Aggies, Jack Brown led the way with eight points, followed by Peyton Bailey with seven and Ryan Preston and Owen Yarbrough with six.

Vinemont will face the winner of West Point and Hanceville’s matchup Tuesday night in the junior varsity boys’ title game Saturday at 4.

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