COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Fairview pulls away to top West Point 65-47

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The Fairview Aggies defeated West Point 65-47 Monday night to advance to the varsity boys’ semifinals. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The Fairview Aggies squared off against the West Point Warriors in Monday’s nightcap at the Cullman County Tournament and after battling it out for three tight quarters, the Aggies were able to take control of the momentum in the fourth and outscored the Warriors 21-7 in the final eight minutes to pull away and collect a 65-47 win.

A pair of free throws by Jacob Harbison put West Point on the scoreboard first, but a pair of baskets by Cylas Yarbrough gave Fairview a 4-2 lead. Both teams traded baskets for most of the first quarter. Another Yarbrough made basket gave the Aggies a 6-4 lead with 4:32 to go in the opening period, but Harbison and Kolten Perry each hit a basket in the paint to give the Warriors an 8-6 lead. Nicholas Gregory knocked down a three to give the Aggies a 9-8 lead but a pair of late baskets by Ashton Rodgers and Kanaan Sutter saw West Point take a slim 12-11 lead into the second.

Perry knocked down a jumper to make it a 14-11 game early in the second period, but Kobe Payne and Landun Smith each hit a long-range shot to give Fairview a 17-16 lead. An and-one by Rodgers gave the Warriors the lead right back at 19-17. Bryson Fletcher drilled a long-range shot to give the Aggies a 21-20 lead. Perry hit a pair of shots; after his second made shot, he got fouled hard and had to leave the game. Harbison would end up completing Perry’s and-one to push the Warrior lead to 26-21, then he would add a layup to make it 28-21. Rodgers put in a floater to give the Warriors a 30-22 lead, but a pair of late baskets by Ethan Fraiser and Fletcher cut it to 30-26. Rodgers nailed a pair from the line as West Point went into the half up, 32-26.

An offensive rebound and put-back by Yarbrough cut it to 32-28; he would later add a three to make it a one-point game. Payne drilled a long-range shot to tie the game up at 34, then Gregory would follow that up with one of his own to give Fairview a 37-34 lead. A Perry shot in the paint made it a 37-36 game, but a huge and-one by Payne pushed the Aggie lead to 40-36 with less than four minutes to go in the third period. An offensive rebound and put-back by Harbison cut it to two, then a basket by Sutter tied the game up at 40 late in the quarter. A pair of baskets by Payne would give the Aggies a 44-40 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Another rebound and put-back by Yarbrough gave Fairview a 46-40 lead, but Jay Lamar’s first basket of the game made it a four-point contest. Yarbrough and Perry each traded baskets to keep it at a four-point game at 48-44, but a big three by Smith from the right corner pushed the Aggie lead to 51-44 with less than five minutes to go in the game. Rodgers put in a floater to cut it to 52-46 with 3:30 left to go in the contest, but Yarbrough and Gregory each hit a pair of free throws to push Fairview’s lead to 56-46. Payne hit a pair of layups to make it a 61-47 game with less than two minutes to go in the game and the Aggies would go on to knock off the Warriors, 65-47.

Yarbrough led the way for Fairview with 21 points. Payne added 19 points and Gregory finished with eight. For West Point, Perry finished with 16 points and Rodgers added 11 points.

Fairview will move on to take on the no. 1 seed, Good Hope, on Friday night at 5 p.m.

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