An upset was brewing for nearly three quarters on Friday night in Fayette but Scotland County ran out of gas down the stretch allowing the #6 ranked Falcons to escape with a 63-47 victory.
Fayette got off to a fast start but SCR-I refused to let the large Courtwarming crowd get too excited. Baskets by Will Fromm and Jared Dunn stole back some of the momentum before Matthew Woods went to work. The Tigers’ forward had back-to-back buckets to knot the score at 8-8. A bucket on an offensive rebound by Lane Pence gave the Tigers their first lead of the night at 10-8.
Jace Morrow has provided SCR-I with some needed scoring punch off the bench as of late and he continued the hit streak on Friday night, canning a three- pointer late in the first quarter. Still Fayette was able to pull ahead 17-15 to close the quarter.
Both squads ratcheted up the defensive pressure on the second period as an already fairly physical contest became even more of a battle. Fromm converted a three-point play to open the quarter and the two teams traded the lead back and forth from the free throw line much of the period.
Woods knotted the score at 22-22 with a basket in the paint but was later forced to the bench with an ankle injury.
Morrow and Fromm picked up the scoring slack with a pair of three-pointers as Scotland County headed to the locker room down just 30-28.
SCR-I pulled ahead early in the third period on buckets by Pence and Stephen Terrill. But after a basket by Fromm put SCR-I up with a little more than five minutes left in the third period, Fayette finally began to pull away. Blake Dawson hit a big three-pointer for the Falcons, who went on a 13-4 run in the final four minutes of the quarter to lead 46-38.
Freshman Kyle Schleeter stepped up for Fayette in the fourth period, scoring seven points and nearly outscoring SCR-I on his own as the Tigers managed just nine fourth quarter points, on just a pair of field goals. The Falcons put the game away from the free throw line, making 13 of 14 free throw attempts in the final quarter to seal the 63-47 victory.
Scotland County dropped to 12-9 on the year and 3-3 in conference play. Fromm led the Tigers in scoring with 16 points. Woods and Morrow each finished with eight. Dawson led all scorers with 28 points as Fayette improved to 17-2 on the year. Schleeter finished with 18.