JV COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Fairview downs Vinemont 54-27 to advance to Finals

Fairview’s Gavin Pace posted 14 points in the Aggies’ 54-27 win over Vinemont Monday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – This year’s Cullman County Basketball Tournament resumed at Tom Drake Coliseum Monday night and we tipped things off with another JV Boys matchup. This time it was the top-seeded Fairview Aggies facing off against Vinemont. The Eagles advanced with a 54-51 win over Holly Pond Saturday but they couldn’t by the Aggies Monday night. Fairview led Vinemont by 15 at the halftime break and continued to pull away in the second half on its way to a 54-27 win over the Eagles. With the win, the Aggies have earned a spot in the JV Boys’ Finals Saturday at 4 p.m.

Vinemont struck first with a pair of free throws from Cheston Wilhite, but a Trace Richardson answered with a three-pointer on the other end to put the Aggies in front 3-2. A Jeremy Harbison jumper moved the Eagles ahead 4-3 but that was the last time they held the lead the rest of the way. Gavin Pace drilled a three for Fairview to make it 6-4 and an 8-0 run by the Aggies extended the lead to 16-4 with just over a minute remaining in the first. Kaden Graham knocked down a three to stop the run and cut the lead to 16-7 but a basket from Zayden Cruce in the final seconds of the period put Fairview in front 18-7 going into the second.

Baskets by Richardson and Pace made it a 22-7 game early in the second quarter before Graham sank another three-pointer to trim the lead to 22-10. Colton Gillis laid one in to make it 23-12 later in the period but Kolt Redding responded with a three on the other end to keep the Aggies ahead 26-12. Gillis drained a pair of free throws to cut into the lead with 35 seconds on the clock but Cruce buried a three just before the buzzer to give Fairview a 29-14 advantage at halftime.

Cruce laid one in and split a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to 32-14 at the start of the third quarter and Pace laid one in to make it a 20-point game midway through the period. Graham converted an and-one play in the final seconds of the third but the Eagles trailed Fairview 34-17 going into the final frame.

The Aggies continued to pull away in the final seven minutes. A pair of baskets from Cruce and a pair of free throws from Redding made it a 40-19 game early in the fourth. Pace scored inside and Jace Stevens drilled a three to extend the lead to 45-19 and despite a late push from Vinemont, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Aggie lead and Fairview went on to win it 54-27 and punch its ticket to the JV Boys Finals.

Cruce led Fairview with 16 points in the win. Pace posted 14 points and Dunn added nine. Graham led the Eagles with 13 points in the loss.

The Aggies will face either Good Hope or West Point in the JV Boys County Championship Game Saturday at 4 p.m.

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