By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A trip to Tipton-Rosemark Academy means playing a full 32 minutes for Keith Cox’s Fayette Academy Vikings.
Last Thursday in the TRA Gymnasium, the Rebels gave the home crowd something to cheer about early jumping out to a 5-2 lead behind a layup and triple from Nick Biggs. But the Vikings regrouped quickly with a 17-0 run to take the lead for good. Fayette Academy matched the Rebels intensity and then turned on the pressure for a 75-50 win.
“That’s probably the best we’ve played all year,” Cox said. “We got out and we know they come out with a lot of intensity. We know that when we walk into here. They’re going to play hard. We did a good job tonight of matching their intensity.
“We got out and run getting some easy baskets,” he added. “We shot the ball well early. They didn’t shoot the ball well early allowing us to extend the lead. I’m proud of the way we fought. Usually when we play them, the big question is, are we going to play as hard as they are. Tonight I thought we did that.”
The Vikings improved to 12-9 overall and 4-2 in league play with the victory. After falling behind 5-2, Fayette Academy held TRA to a Ryan McCrory free throw the rest of the first quarter.
During that stretch the Vikings scored 26 points sparked by an Alex Smith jumper. The score became 12-5 when Brennan Bowling drained a three-pointer.
After Alex Moffatt made the score 16-5 with a layup, his teammate John Michael Atkeison hit a three-pointer that make the tally 19-5.
McCrory trimmed the lead to 13 points with his foul shot. Bowling had a quick response with another triple. Smith got into the long range act hitting a triple. And Austin Johnson closed out the first quarter with a three-pointer of his own making the score 28-6.
The Rebels had better offensive production in the second quarter outscoring Fayette 23-19. Braxton Ross got things started for TRA with a three-pointer. Biggs made another triple in the period.
The Rebels’ leading scorer Matt “Moose” Moody finally got into the scoring column in second quarter with a layup in the lane.
And Rebel guard Blaine Curtis made an athletic layup among the Fayette big men that made the score 39-17. Despite more points in the period, TRA was still behind 47-29.
The Vikings kept the lead at a safe distance in the third quarter working the ball around the perimeter for the best shot opportunity.
“Everybody played kind of well together tonight,” Cox noted. “I thought we passed the ball really well. By far the best we’ve done all year passing the ball, everybody working together and getting involved. You want to be clicking toward the end of the season. We’re starting to get it together right.”
The Vikings held the Rebels to 10 points in the third quarter while scoring 22 points. Bowling hit a three-pointer in the quarter and made a steal leading to an assist to Johnson for a layup.
Bowling bucket at the buzzer made the score 69-39 after three quarters. The Vikings only tallied 6 points final quarter but still posted a 25-point victory.