COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Fairview advances to semifinals with 53-31 win over Holly Pond

Fairview’s Jayla Gorham led the Lady Aggies with 20 points in their 53-31 win over Holly Pond Tuesday night. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Our first varsity battle at the Cullman County Tournament Tuesday night featured the Fairview Lady Aggies and the Lady Broncos of Holly Pond. After a tight first half, the Lady Aggies outscored Holly Pond 18-8 in the third quarter to begin pulling away and held off the Lady Broncos in the final eight minutes to wrap up a 53-31 win. With the win, Fairview has secured a spot in the varsity girls’ semifinals against Cold Springs Thursday night.

A pair of Jayla Gorham free throws and an Ava Thomas basket gave the Lady Aggies an early, 4-0 lead but a three-pointer by Kamryn Tankersley on the other end made it a 4-3 game. Thomas and Lexi Golden each split a pair of free throws to add to the Fairview lead and Gorham converted an and-one play at the line to stretch the lead to 9-3. However, buckets from Maycie Black and Tankersley in the final two minutes cut the lead to 9-7 going into the second quarter.

Tankersley drained another three to put the Lady Broncos in front 10-9 at the start of the second and after the Lady Aggies moved back ahead 13-10, Tankersley’s third three-pointer of the night tied things up at 13 with five minutes to play in the first half. Free throws from Thomas and Somer Harris allowed Fairview to move ahead 16-13 and Emma Garcia laid one in to make it 18-13. Bai Widner netted a pair of free throws to trim the lead to 20-15 with less than two minutes remaining in the period and Ellie Burks knocked down a jumper in the final minute of the second to make it a 20-17 game at halftime.

Thomas converted an and-one play to start the third quarter and extend Fairview’s lead to 23-17 and Gorham really helped the Lady Aggies create separation by drilling three consecutive three-pointers to make it a 32-19 game. Black and Darby Nichols exchanged threes to make it 35-22 later in the period and Widner drained another three-pointer for the Lady Broncos to cut the lead to 10. However, Golden was fouled on her next three-point attempt and she knocked down all three free throws to put Fairview ahead 38-25 going into the final frame.

Gorham hit another jumper and Nichols buried another three to keep the Lady Aggies in front 43-27 early in the fourth. Gorham and Emma Earl exchanged buckets to make it a 45-29 game with five minutes to play and Thomas laid one in to make it 47-31 midway through the period. Allison Davis scored a pair of baskets in the final two minutes to wrap up a 53-31 win for Fairview.

Gorham led the Lady Aggies with 20 points in the win, followed by Thomas with 10 and Nichols with six. Tankersley led the way for Holly Pond will 11 points in the loss.

Fairview will face Cold Springs Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. with a spot in the county title game on the line.

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