By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
As the first quarter of Thursday night’s contest between Fairview and Hanceville drew to a close, it seemed as though the Aggies were well on their way to an easy victory over the county-rival Bulldogs.
Fairview (13-6) did pick up the win, but it far from easy, as the Aggies received more of the Bulldogs’ bite than intended down the stretch in an ultimate 52-49 triumph.
“It was an up-and-down game,” Fairview coach Greg Boatright said. “Fortunately, we were able to find a little more consistency toward the end of it.”
The coach couldn’t have drawn it up much better early on, as his team roared out to a quick 26-10 first-quarter lead, backed by 10 points from senior Luke Bailey.
The offense stalled, though, just as Hanceville’s Brontae Harris started to heat up.
The sophomore guard lit up the net with 13 second-quarter points to draw his team back to within four heading into halftime.
The Bulldogs were able to keep their momentum going in the third, taking a 44-40 lead heading into the game’s final frame.
The fourth quarter, however, was all Fairview.
The Aggies took a two-point lead on a three-point play from Elijah Garrison with just over three minutes remaining.
It was a lead they didn’t relinquish, as Andy Hendrix added a three-point play of his own to extend the Aggie advantage to five.
The Bulldogs didn’t bow out, though, with Harris drilling a 3-pointer from downtown to bring the game back to a five-point decifit.
Down three, with just seconds remaining, Hanceville had two opportunities to force overtime, but both of Keith Twitty’s 3-point shots fell short of their mark, allowing the Aggies to run out the clock.
“We just continued to play hard,” Boatright said. “We hit a few shots and made some stops when we needed to. It was a good win for us.”
Garrison led his team with 18 points, while Bailey dropped in 15 for the Aggies.
Blake Parker contributed 10 points and Hendrix had seven.
For the home team, Harris netted 26 points, bringing his career total close to the 1,000-point mark.
Chris Smith scored 11 points, while Dant’e Reese poured in seven.
It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Aggies, as they are set to hit the road to take on Locust Fork tonight in a crucial area matchup with the Hornets.
Hanceville will look to get back on track as they host area-foe Danville.
% Fairview 49, Hanceville 23: The Lady Aggies used a hot start to pull away early, picking up their second win of the season by defeating the Bulldogs on Thursday night.
Fairview started the game on a 15-0 run and closed the first half with a 10-0 stretch to secure a runaway 28-2 lead going into halftime.
The Aggies made five 3-pointers in the first half, while holding Hanceville to zero field goals.
The Bulldogs bounced back in the second half, but unfortunately, it was too little, too late, as the game was well in the hands of the visiting Aggies.
Fairview’s Kennedy Trimble led all scorers with 15 points, while teammates Alli Harris and Skye Hunter added seven and six points, respectively. Six other Aggies also scored in the contest.
The Bulldogs’ top contributor was Taylor Hollingsworth, who put in nine points in a losing effort. Latasha Warren also added four points.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.