- Cullman, Alabama

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December 27, 2012

WEST POINT CLASSIC: Aggies in driver's seat after blowout vs. Priceville

WEST POINT — One game after West Point blew a sizable lead versus Danville and one night after erasing a double-digit deficit to stun West Morgan, Fairview’s boys basketball team entered Thursday’s game against Priceville with a simple gameplan — start strong and finish stronger.

That strategy undoubtedly worked to perfection for the Aggies, who received 16 points from Elijah Garrison and 13 from Andy Hendrix, to blast the Class 4A Bulldogs 68-40 and help Cullman County avoid a winless Day 2 at the West Point Classic.

The Purple and Gold made their fans wait till the final buzzer sounded to let loose a sigh of relief just 24 hours earlier but didn’t need much time in Thursday’s contest to grab a lead they would never relinquish. Fairview (11-4) took a 29-19 advantage into halftime, extended it to 46-29 by the end of the third quarter and pushed it even further with many of its second-string players on the floor for the last eight-minute stretch.

“The first thing coach (Greg Boatright) said was we’ve got to go out there and finish playing,” Garrison said. “West Point lost the 12-point lead they had, and last night we were down 14, so it can happen to anybody.”

Though Garrison topped his teammates for the highest point total in the Aggies’ third victory in a row, the guard was quick to deflect the credit to his supporting cast.

“We’re about team, that’s for sure. All five of us, actually all eight, could do anything depending on what night it is,” Garrison said. “It just happened to be the night that I scored. It was nothing I did. We rebounded well tonight, played good defense and they gave me open looks. We still have things to work on, but it was good.”

In addition to Garrison and Hendrix’s contributions, the Purple and Gold received nine points from senior big-man Blake Parker and seven apiece from Peter Kessler, Luke Bailey and Marco Rodriguez. Hunter Brewer used a late shot from behind the arc to boost his input to five points. Ethan Widner rounded out the team’s scorers with four.

Kaleb Barker paced Priceville with three 3-pointers — the same amount as Hendrix — and 15 points.

Fairview will wrap up tournament play versus Lawrence County today at 4:30 p.m. A win would secure the first-place trophy for the county team with the best record after three ballgames.

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