PREP BASKETBALL: Arab, Holly Pond, Fairview collect wins at Holly Pond Thanksgiving Tournament

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Arab’s Ed Johnson (0) led the Knights with 24 points in their 41-28 win over Cold Springs Tuesday night. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – Four local squads were back in action at this year’s Holly Pond Thanksgiving Tournament Tuesday night after competing on day one Monday. The Aggies got the afternoon started by pulling away from Lawrence County to collect a 67-49 win, The Broncos followed them with a 67-51 win over Southeastern and Arab downed Cold Springs 41-28 in the third game of the day to advance to Wednesday night’s championship game.

Fairview 67 – Lawrence County 49 (Varsity Boys)

The Aggies took on the Red Devils of Lawrence County in the first game of the day Tuesday and with the score knotted at 4 early, Landon Tweedie drilled a three-pointer to put Fairview in front 7-4. A basket from Ethan Frasier kept the Aggies ahead 9-6 but the Red Devils continued to pound the ball inside and were able to take a 10-9 lead midway through the first quarter. A jumper by Kobe Payne put Fairview back in front 11-10 and baskets from Cade Arnold and Cylas Yarbrough extended the lead to 15-10. Another layup by Arnold made it a 17-12 game with just under two minutes to play in the period but Lawrence County managed to cut the lead to 17-14 by the end of the first.

The Aggies maintained an 18-16 advantage early in the second quarter but a deep three from Tweedie made it 21-16. Johnson scored inside to make it a 23-18 game and Fairview held a 6-point lead midway through the period. The Red Devils trimmed the lead to 24-21 and after baskets by Arnold and Frasier stretched it back out to 28-21, Lawrence County responded with an 8-0 run to move ahead 29-28 late in the second. The Red Devils added a pair of free throws in the final minutes of the quarter and went into the halftime break leading Fairview 31-28.

The Aggies got on the board with a pair of Tweedie baskets early in the third quarter, but Lawrence County stayed hot on the other end and extended its lead to 40-32. Tweedie converted an and-one play at the free throw line to make it a 5-point game midway through the third but another three-pointer from the Red Devils gave them a 43-35 advantage. That’s when Fairview got hot and baskets by Arnold, Tweedie and Frasier cut the lead to two before Payne drained back to back threes and gave the Aggies a 47-43 lead with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Arnold added another basket in the final seconds of the period and Fairview went into the final frame leading 49-43. The Aggies finished the quarter on a 14-0 run.

Fairview continued to add to its lead early in the fourth quarter. Frasier scored inside to make it 51-43 and Payne drilled his third consecutive three-pointer to stretch the lead to 11. Frasier laid another one in to give the Aggies a 13-point lead and Johnson finished a three-point play at the line to make it a 59-45 game midway through the fourth. Payne netted four straight free throws to extend the lead to 63-47 and after Tweedie tacked on two more easy buckets, Fairview pulled away to defeat the Red Devils 67-49.

Payne led the Aggies with 19 points in the win, followed by Tweedie with 17, Arnold and Frasier with 10 and Johnson with 7. Fairview will be back on the court Wednesday at 3:30 to play Holly Pond.

Holly Pond 67 – Southeastern 51 (Varsity Boys)

After a slow start to the opening quarter, Kollin Brown knocked down a three-pointer to give the Broncos an early, 3-2 lead but the Mustangs used a 5-0 run to pull ahead 7-3 midway through the first. Brown drilled his second three-pointer of the game to cut the lead to 7-6 and dropped in another basket to give Holly Pond an 8-7 advantage. Christian Couch scored two points inside and Brown turned a steal into another basket to put the Broncos in front 12-9 late in the first quarter. Couch converted an and-one play at the line to stretch the lead to 15-9 and Holly Pond went into the second quarter leading by six.

Brown’s shooting display continued in the second. He knocked down his third trey of the afternoon to make it an 18-12 game early in the period and his fourth kept the Bronco lead at 21-16 as the quarter went on. Brown drained another deep three to keep Holly Pond in front 24-19 midway through the second and after a run from the Mustangs, his sixth three-pointer put the Broncos back on top 27-26. Southeastern was able to pull ahead in the final two minutes of the quarter but after a pair of free throws by Couch cut the lead to two, Brown buried a deep shot at the buzzer to give Holly Pond a 32-31 advantage at the halftime break. Brown scored 25 of the Broncos’ 32 points in the first half.

A three-pointer from Jackson Wilkins and another bucket by Couch put Holly Pond in front 38-31 early in the third quarter and Couch laid another one in to make it a 40-33 game midway through the period. A layup from Sawyer Olinger and a free throw by Brown gave the Broncos a 9-point lead late in the third and Holly Pond continued to add to its lead, making it a 50-35 game in the final minute of the quarter but the Mustangs drilled a long shot at the buzzer to cut the lead to 50-38 going into the fourth quarter.

An inside basket from Couch and a three-pointer by Olinger gave the Broncos a 57-46 lead midway through the final frame and Nathan Carter added a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 13. Southeastern managed to trim the lead to 60-50 late in the fourth but a layup by Couch made it a 12-point game with less than two minutes to play and Holly Pond pulled away to win it 67-51.

Brown led the Broncos with 29 points in the win, followed by Couch with 20 and Olinger with 11. Holly Pond will be back in action Wednesday to face Fairview at 3:30.

Arab 41 – Cold Springs 28 (Varsity Boys)

Ed Johnson knocked down a three-pointer to give the Arabian Knights an early 3-0 lead over the Eagles and he added a pair of free throws to make it 5-0 midway through the first quarter. Brody Peppers drove to the basket and scored to get Cold Springs on the board, but Spencer Strickland answered with a three-pointer on the other end to keep Arab in front 8-2. Peppers scored a couple of buckets to cut the lead to 8-6 but the Knights responded with a three-pointer from Ethan Thomas and another triple from Johnson at the buzzer to make it a 14-6 game going into the second quarter.

Cameron Nunn and Peppers each netted a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 14-10 early in the second but Johnson scored on back to back possessions for Arab to stretch the lead to 19-11 midway through the period. Ethan Thomas drilled a three-pointer to make it a 22-11 game and Caleb Perkins scored inside to make it 24-11. Peppers scored five straight points for the Eagles to trim the lead to 24-16 with less than a minute remaining in the opening half but Johnson remembered what he did at the end of the first quarter drained another three just before the buzzer to give the Knights a 27-16 advantage at the break.

Tanner Kilgo scored the first points of the third to cut the Arab lead to 27-18 but five straight points from Case Couch stretched the lead to 32-18. John Mark Smith drilled a three for Cold Springs to make it an 11-point game, but the Knights responded with another three from Johnson on the other end. Kilgo laid another one in to make it 35-23 but Arab drilled another three-pointer at the buzzer, this time from Dakota NeSmith, and went into the final frame leading the Eagles 38-23.

Peppers scored inside to make it a 38-25 game early in the fourth quarter and split a pair of free throws midway through the period to trim the lead to 38-26. Neither team had much success scoring in the fourth, but a pair of Wes Johnson free throws gave the Knights a 41-26 lead in the final minute of the game and Arab went on to win it over the Eagles 41-28.

Ed Johnson led the Knights with 24 points in the win, followed by Thomas with six and Couch with five. Peppers led the way for Cold Springs with 20 points in the loss. Arab advances to the championship game Wednesday at 7 and will face the winner of Lincoln County and Guntersville.

The Eagles will be back on the court Wednesday at 5:30 to play the loser of the Lincoln County and Guntersville game.

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