February 22nd, 2012
Fairdale Uses "3" To Knock Out Holy Cross
Cougars bow out at hands of Bulldogs' 3-point shooting
The Holy Cross High School boys basketball team ran into a buzzsaw on Wednesday night and found itself on the wrong side of Fairdale High School's hot shooting.
The Bulldogs opened the game 8-of-9 from the field, built a 19-5 lead and eventually defeated the Cougars 75-59 in the 21st District Tournament semifinals at Valley High School's J.C. Cantrell Gymnasium.
The loss eliminates Holy Cross from the postseason and was the Cougars' 6th straight to end the year.
Fairdale sophomore guard Cory Thomas was the offensive catalyst for his team out of the gate. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter to set the tone for the Bulldogs. Two of his four 3-pointers also came during the game's opening period. Junior Josh Payne knocked down five 3-pointers, at least one in each quarter, and finished with a game-high 23 points.
The Bulldogs rang up a total of 11 long balls from beyond the arc and kept any chance of a substantial Holy Cross from ever forming. The Cougars did use a mini 6-0 run and pulled within 31-17 of Fairdale on senior Dylan Bickel's jumper in the lane with 2:14 to go in the second quarter.
After trailing 37-19 at halftime, the Cougars started the third quarter on an 11-3 run and cut Fairdale's lead to 40-30 midway through the third quarter behind the aggressive play of Kendall Hammerstrom. The senior forward, who would ultimately play his final game in a Holy Cross uniform, scored 9 of his team-high 17 points in the third period.
Fairdale, however, would end the third quarter on a 13-6 run of its own as junior center Boo Crabtree took over on the boards. Holy Cross would never get closer than 14 points the rest of the way. Crabtree finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Holy Cross, which committed 20-plus turnovers as a team, got 5 points each from seniors Bickel, Justin McGohon and Jake Kaelin, and sophomore Dominique Mack. Cougars senior Cody Couch hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the 4th quarter and finished with 8 points. Bickel also led Holy Cross with 6 rebounds.
Fairdale (13-15) will take on top seed PRP on Friday at Beth Haven for the 21st District Championship.
Holy Cross ends the 2011-12 season with a 9-21 record and says goodbye to seven seniors (Bickel, Chad Conway, Couch, Hammerstrom, Kaelin, Blake Keith and McGohon).