For the first half Saturday night Fayette slumped along offensively, nearly matching Fairview turnover for turnover.
But in the third quarter the Eagles got a energetic shot in the arm from Tanner Wagner to turn a six-point deficit into a four-point lead the Eagles never relinquished as they beat the Apaches 43-36 in boys basketball.
Fayette forced nine first quarter turnovers but still trailed 6-5 as Fayette committed six errors of their own.
In the second Fairview was guilty of seven more miscues but Eagle fouls put the Apaches on the line time and time again.
Brody Retcher and Cade Ripke hit a combined 8-10 from the stripe to nearly offset 10 points split by Wagner and Elijah Lerma to take an 18-15 lead into the locker room.
“Defensively we were solid,” Eagles’ coach Todd Mitchell stated regarding the first half. “But we turned the ball over way too much.”
Wagner’s inside-out game with Kaden Frenn led to his game-tying triple to open the third, but four straight Eagle turnovers led to two baskets by Caleb Frank and another by Jackson Grine for a 24-18 Apache lead.
Lerma’s spin to the rim cut the deficit to four, then Wagner loaded up from long range.
His next triple from way above the top of the key got the Eagles within a point, then on the next possession he drained another from just above the top circle to give Fayette a lead they never let go.
Wagner missed his next triple try but snared his own rebound and scored to give Fayette a 28-24 lead.
Treyvon Hastings canned all three free throws after being fouled on a triple attempt to get Fairview back to 28-27 but Phillip Whiteside nailed a three-ball from the corner to put Fayette up 31-27 heading to the fourth.
Fayette kept the Apaches at bay hitting 8-12 from the stripe in the fourth, including 4-4 from Eli Eberly.
“I was very proud of how our guys responded in the second half,” expressed Mitchell. “Tanner got hot and it gave our team a lot of energy. Kaden (Frenn) and Skylar (Lester) did a good job with post defense on their boys. It was a good team win.”
Wagner’s 20 points led the Eagles. Lerma added 10.
Fayette caused 25 Fairview turnovers but committed 22 of their own.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com