RACELAND Winning tournament games in basketball undeniably requires a lot, including overcoming adversity and finding players to step up.
The Fairview Lady Eagles did just that in the opening round of the 16th Region All ”A” Classic against Raceland, registering a 58-49 win.
Fairview overcame foul trouble and a resilient Lady Rams team in a tightly contested matchup that capped off the day’s action on the girls side of the tournament.
Rachel Hanshaw recorded her second foul just over two minutes into the first quarter, causing her to miss the majority of the first half. Jordan Rakes spent time down the stretch of the second half sidelined with the same problem.
Rakes still managed a team-high 22 points, and put Fairview up 12-7 after one when she beat the first-quarter buzzer on a 3 from the right wing.
Raceland was able to keep the game close throughout much of the night, despite shooting just 1-for-22 from deep.
“We got out of the gate nervous with our 3-point shooting and just couldn’t find the range,” Lady Rams coach Ron Keeton said. “We shoot it at 30% on the season as a team behind the line but tonight we just couldn’t put the ol’ orange ball into the ol’ orange hoop in the ol’ orange arena.”
In the second quarter, Raceland pulled within one early on with two scores from Chloe Collins. Fairview then responded with a 7-0 run on two baskets from Rakes and one from Crisp.
The Lady Rams recorded one field goal in the final six minutes and change of the half, but trailed just 21-17 at the halftime break.
“We played with such grit, energy and effort,” Keeton said. “I just couldn’t be prouder of a team I’ve been a part of in my 15 years on staff here.
“Playing without injured Whitney Lute and Emma Picklesimer, our girls gave the kind of effort and execution that you dream of as a coach. Top to bottom, we got everything we wanted except basketballs finding the hoop with any level of consistency.”
Raceland managed to hang around in large part due to the performance of Emilee Garvin. Garvin had a game-high 23 points, and scored 10 straight points late in the third quarter for the Lady Rams.
“We talk about rising to the occasion in tournament games and she did that tonight,” Keeton said. “She’s been dialed in and it really showed tonight.”
“She’s had a fantastic career for us and still has unfinished business as we turn our attention to district and region play.”
Had it not been for Crisp, Raceland and Fairview might have been tied entering the fourth quarter.
Crisp stepped up in the third quarter for the Lady Eagles to ensure they led entering the final frame, as she totaled 11 points in the period to put Fairview ahead 40-34 after three.
She hit two 3s in the final minute and a half to give the Lady Eagles some late cushion.
Nelson and Madison Shaffer then proceeded to step up in the final quarter for Fairview, and the Lady Eagles closed out the game late with free throws.
“I thought we had a lot of kids step up and make some big plays at different times of the game,” Fairview coach Rex Cooksey said. “I thought that third quarter and early in that fourth quarter Josey stepped up and hit clutch shots.”
Nelson was one of three Fairview players in double figures.
The Lady Eagles (13-2) advance to Tuesday’s semifinals against Elliott County. The Lady Lions handed Fairview their first loss of the season on Dec. 30.
“We realized one thing, we’ve played them enough last year and this year that we know they’ve got a good basketball team,” Cooksey said. “We’ll have to be prepared, and it will be a tough basketball game.”
Raceland (4-10) has now dropped six straight.
FAIRVIEW 12 9 19 18 — 58
RACELAND 7 10 17 15 — 49
Fairview (58) — Rakes 22, Crisp 17, Nelson 11, Shaffer 4, Hanshaw 3. 3-Pt. FG: 7 (Crisp 3, Rakes 3, Nelson). FT: 11-19. Fouls: 16.
Raceland (49) — Garvin 23, Smith 14, Collins 8, Flocker 2, Hapney 2. 3-Pt FG: 1 (Garvin). FT: 10-16. Fouls: 16.