With just two complete practices under its belt, Fairview knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. It wasn’t pretty but it had the right result.
Senior Devon Turner scored 23 points to lead Fairview past Raceland 63-60 in overtime Friday night.
With postseason football keeping much of his team away from the basketball court, Fairview coach Derek Cooksey said the first few minutes were a little too hectic for his taste.
“The tempo was just sporadic,” Cooksey said. “We want to speed it up, but I looked over at my assistants and told them it was too rapid because we haven’t conditioned. I think it just wore us down and we made mistakes.”
Luckily for Fairview, Raceland struggled early just getting the ball to go in the basket, scoring just six points in the first quarter. For the game the Rams shot just above 40 percent.
The main thing Raceland coach Bob Trimble saw wrong with his team was its offense, or the lack of running an offense.
“If we do the things we practice and work on we win the ball game,” Trimble said. “We never got into a flow offensively because we never ran the stuff we practiced. It didn’t even look like our team out there.
“We had good effort and good energy and we wanted to win, but this group has to learn to win as a team.”
Trailing 24-20 in the first half, Raceland leaned on sophomore guard Jacob Blair in the second. Blair finished with a game-high 26 points, 17 coming in the second half.
The biggest shot came in the fourth quarter, where a floater went off the backboard and in to send the game into overtime tied at 54.
In overtime, though, it was Turner who sealed the deal for the Eagles. First taking a steal back for a layup to give Fairview a lead.
Raceland tied it up again, but after an Elijah King layup put Fairview up 60-58, Turner took a rebound off a Rams’ miss and drove coast-to-coast making the layup and picking up a foul for a free throw.
“That’s what we expect of Devon,” Cooskey said. “He kept driving the ball and putting us in position to win. He’s been so aggressive and we really worked with him on getting to the rim because he’s so strong.”
Isaiah King had eight points for the Eagles, while Connor Messer had a double-double for Raceland with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Raceland (0-2) will be in action again on Monday when it travels to Rowan County.
Fairview (2-0) goes on the road tonight against Russell. Then the Eagles travel to Grayson to take on East Carter.
After having his full team for just a week, Cooksey knows getting this win at home is big for his team. He said it’s even bigger with two good teams like Russell and East Carter coming up on the schedule.
“This was a big game,” Cooskey said. “Playing our rival and going into a tough stretch of games, we needed to get his one. I think this will be something to build upon.”
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658.