Much needed wins for the Arab High basketball teams came in the form of a clean sweep over Fairview on Tuesday night, with one of victories coming on a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer for the Lady Knights’ varsity team.
• Arab 70, Fairview 40
With the Knights having two games under the belt and Fairview opening the season, first-game jitters may have been a factor. The Aggies found themselves down 18-10 after a quarter, 31-19 at the half and 50-34 at the end of three as Arab (1-2) gradually pulled away and took advantage of Fairview turnovers.
“They were like we were the first game,” said Arab coach Justin Jonus. “When you throw a 1-3-1, a 2-2-1 and a multitude of zones at them, it makes it tough.
“We didn’t play our best tonight, but we did get into a little bit of a rhythm.”
A noticeable part of that came in the form of hitting 10 3-pointers for the game. Colby King led the Knights offensively with 17 points, including a 3.
Logan Parker hit three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points while Jordan NeSmith hit two 3-pointers and had 10 points. Kent Tyler added seven points, Dawson England and Brooks Malone each had six, and Blake Kelley and Trevor Miller each had five.
“We’re shooting a little better, but every night we have a couple of guys that don’t hit a 3 that are really good shooters,” Jonus said. “Our big men played OK tonight, but I was really expecting more from them.
“I thought they would dominate but Blake got in foul trouble and Brooks is still getting there. We have a lot of guys that don’t have a lot of varsity experience, but as far as playing big, they’re doing an amazing job blocking shots and rebounding.
“I just want to get them on the scoreboard a little more, but I think we’re getting better as a team each game and that’s all I can ask for.”
Arab hit 12 of 19 free throws for the game compared to the Aggies’ 6 of 14. Caleb White and Austin Turner had eight points each for Fairview.
• Arab 53, Fairview 41
Leading 23-21 at the half, Arab (1-2) outscored Fairview 20-9 in the third quarter to secure the win.
Darian Lusk and Preston Williams had 12 points each for the Knights, J.B. Bowman and James Ed Johnson each had seven and Alex Alcala had six.
Getting some players back who had been sick was a big help, according to coach Brad Kitchens.
“We made a few adjustments at halftime and had a big third quarter, but having Alex Alcala back made a big difference,” he said. “Not so much his scoring, but he gave us a huge lift defensively after missing the last game.
“Caleb Isbell was out the previous game, too, and he had a big 3 when we were making our run in the third quarter. With Darian and Preston continuing to score well for us, it was probably our most complete game from start to finish. I was very proud of them tonight.”
9TH- GRADE BOYS
• Arab 59 Fairview 39
It was the second game of the night where a dominating third quarter proved to be the real difference in the game. The Knights outscored the Aggies 18-3 in the third quarter to lead 44-23 and go on to win by 20.
Trey Wilks had seven points for Arab, Jonah Humphries had 10 and Ethan Thomas had a huge game with 26 points.
“Ethan was great for us tonight,” said coach Jonathan Embry. “He hit seven 3’s and ended up with the most points at any level this year for our program, so I was real happy for him.”
With Arab (1-2) leading 26-20 at the half, there was some discussion in the dressing room.
“We had a good halftime talk but these guys are very coachable and they came out and did exactly what we wanted them to do,” Embry said. “Our defense stayed consistent but holding them to three points in the third quarter was awesome.
“All our guys are really improving, so we’re happy to get the win.”
• Arab 48, Fairview 47
Payton Golden made two free throws for Fairview with 6.4 seconds left to give Fairview a 47-45 lead over Arab, but it led to the most exciting finish of the night.
The Lady Knights drove from the Aggies’ baseline to the top of the key, where junior Grace Crawley nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“We actually drew up a play for Jazz (Jasmine Davis) to come off a double screen,” said coach Jessica Thompson. “I told Grace if she was anywhere close to the ball to get it and get a good look at the basket.
“She is a great shooter but that was awesome of her to look and see how much time we had left and give us an opportunity to win at the end of the game.”
The lady Knights (1-2) trailed 24-18 at the half and were down by as many as 10 when a gradual comeback led to a Reagan Malone bucket underneath that tied the game at 40.
Malone, who finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds, hit two free throws to give Arab a 42-40 lead.
“We kept battling, especially on the offensive boards,” Thompson said. “Our shots weren’t falling but Reagan’s effort just showed that if you hustle and fight, good things can happen for you.”
Elizabeth Brodhage had nine points and eight rebounds for Arab while Davis had seven points and six assists.
• Arab 41, Fairview 32
The Lady Knights outscored the Aggies 15-4 in the fourth quarter in a game that was a virtual dead heat for the first three quarters. Tied at 13 after the first quarter, Fairview led 18-17 at the half and 28-26 after three periods.
“We had a very slow start and were playing sloppy but we steadily improved,” said coach Chase Weaver. “Our defense got a little tighter and we were finally able to knock down some shots in the paint.”
Aspen Miller and Rylee Enochs had 12 points each and Mary Kate Hallman added seven for Arab (2-1).
“I was very pleased having two girls in double figures,” Weaver said. “Overall, we’re starting to shoot a lot better.”
The Knights were scheduled to host Albertville last night.