- Cullman, Alabama

January 12, 2013

PREP BASKETBALL: Aggies close out grueling week with 3rd win in as many days

By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times

FAIRVIEW — After completing their fourth game in the past week with a one-sided victory over Dora on Saturday, Fairview's Blake Parker and Elijah Garrison were spent. Parker was ready to head home and fire up his Xbox. Garrison simply wanted to jump into bed.

Go ahead boys. You deserve it.

Parker opened the first quarter with block after block, and Garrison sparked his squad with 17 first-half points, leading the Aggies to a 68-48 home rout of the Bulldogs.

If Fairview’s boys were tired, it sure was hard to tell by the way they pounced on Dora to start Saturday’s ballgame. Parker swatted away practically every shot that came his way, and Garrison seemingly couldn’t miss, even sinking one of his three 3-pointers after it bounced high off the front of the rim and off the backboard.

“Everyone knows the block is the coolest thing in basketball besides a dunk, so I had to get the team fired up,” Parker quipped. “That’s what I was trying to do.”

Garrison’s explanation for his early execution was a bit simpler than his teammate’s.

“They were giving me open looks and I hit ’em,” he said.

Those two were far from the only Purple and Gold players who helped the Aggies (15-6) secure a 42-24 advantage by halftime. Luke Bailey and Andy Hendrix both drained two 3-pointers apiece in the first 16 minutes, and point guard Peter Kessler connected on three attempts for six points.

The win capped off a successful — yet tiring — week for Fairview. After losing a close contest versus West Point on Tuesday, the Aggies reeled off three victories in three days by taking down Hanceville, Locust Fork and Dora.

Four games in five days was an awful lot to ask of Fairview’s players, but Parker was grateful for the opportunity it gave the Aggies to work on their chemistry.

“We’ve just gotten closer as a team the past few games,” the senior said. “Everyone is worried about the team instead of one-on-one.”

Garrison added a field goal in the second half to wind up with a game-high 19 points, and Parker went 6 of 6 from the free-throw line late to raise his total to 15. Bailey and Hendrix joined their teammates in double figures with 12 and 11 points apiece, respectively. Garrison and Hendrix each hit three treys.

Kessler added six points for Fairview, and Ethan Widner had five.

DeAngelo Pendleton’s 10 points were tops for Dora. Keliel James pitched in nine.

The Aggies will receive a much-needed break, taking off until a tough test on the road against No. 10 Holly Pond next Thursday.

Varsity Girls

% Fairview 50, Dora 33:
Sarah Harper had a career night with 16 points, and Marlana Johnson made her mark with 12, as the Aggies blew away the visitors with a solid effort from their injury-riddled squad.

Harper fired away from deep at will and made more attempts than she missed, finishing with a hefty total of four 3-pointers, one of which went in off the glass.

“That was nice,” Fairview coach Cheryl Mangum said. “She settled down, took her time on her shot and had a good day. When she had time, it was just going in, even though she was banking in 3’s (laughs).”

After Harper and Johnson was Alley Raper with 8 points. Johnson and Raper both sunk a pair of 3-pointers.

Other Aggie contributors were Kylee Bannister, five points; Kennedy Trimble, four; Skye Hunter, three; and Julia Creel, two.

Dora’s Yashea Chapel posted 11 points.

% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at