MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Fairview edges Cold Springs 33-30 to claim back to back county titles

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The Fairview Lady Aggies defeated Cold Springs 33-30 Saturday to win this year’s county tournament championship. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – For the second consecutive season, the Fairview Lady Aggies are Cullman County Tournament Champions. The Lady Aggies fell behind Cold Springs early but put together a dominant second quarter to take a lead into the locker room at halftime and held off a late push from the Lady Eagles to secure this year’s county title 33-30.

Jiselle Creel hit a free throw and Allie Light scored inside to give the Lady Eagles an early, 3-0 lead but baskets by Emma Bryan and Arleigh Harris on the other end put Fairview in front 4-3 midway through the first. Kyleigh Graves netted a pair of free throws to retake a 5-4 lead for Cold Springs and Hagen Ellis added another free throw to make it 6-4. With just 12 seconds on the clock, Graves buried a three from the corner and stretched the Lady Eagles’ lead to 9-4 going into the second quarter.

After a slow start in the opening period, the Lady Aggies bounced back in the second. Harris scored the first nine points of the quarter to give Fairview a 13-9 lead midway through the second quarter and Kinlee Cryer drained a jumper to extend the run and make it a 15-9 game. Emma Cobbs turned a steal into an easy basket to give the Lady Aggies a 17-9 advantage and after Zoe Miller split a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the half, Fairview went into the locker room leading Cold Springs 17-10 at the break.

Miller hit a pair of free throws to trim the lead to 17-12 at the start of the third quarter but Harris knocked down a jumper and Lola Haynes added a free throw to keep Fairview in front 20-12. Graves and Ace Cruce exchanged three-pointers to make it a 23-15 game midway through the third and baskets by Cobbs and Bryan stretched the lead to 27-18 later in the period. Creel and Makaylee Lotero each hit a pair of free throws to keep the score at 29-20 but Creel laid one in just before the end buzzer to cut the lead to 29-22 going into into the fourth quarter.

A Joli Williams bucket cut the lead to 5 early in the fourth and Lotero exchanged baskets with Ellis to make it a 31-26 game. Creel scored to trim the lead to 31-28 later in the period but Cruce responded with a basket on the other end that kept the Lady Aggies up 33-28 with just under two minutes remaining. Ellis drilled a jumper with around a minute on the clock to bring the lead back down to three but those were the final points of the contest and Fairview held on to win this year’s county championship over Cold Springs 33-30.

Harris led all scorers with 13 points in the win. Bryan and Cruce each posted five points and Lotero finished with four. Graves led the Lady Eagles with eight points in the loss, followed by Ellis and Creel with seven.

2023 All-County Team

Hagen Ellis, Cold Springs

Kyleigh Graves, Cold Springs

Jiselle Creel, Cold Springs

Arleigh Harris, Fairview

Emma Cobbs, Fairview

Ace Cruce, Fairview

Kara Parker, West Point

Reese Guthrie, West Point

Ava Olinger, Holly Pond

Milly Huddleston, Holly Pond

Arleigh Thomason, Vinemont

Kynzlee Farr, Hanceville

Ella Eisner, Good Hope

Abbie Richter, Parkside

Murphee Purdue, Harmony

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