Fairdale takes down St. X in Louisville Invitational basketball tournament

Fairdale takes down St. X in Louisville Invitational basketball tournament

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Fairdale takes down St. X in Louisville Invitational basketball tournament

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For the Fairdale High School boys’ basketball team, a post-Christmas trip to Panama City, Fla., wasn’t only about enjoying a little fun in the sun.

The Bulldogs also found some toughness, which they showed off Tuesday in the second round of the Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament.

Behind a game-high 15 points from Josh Payne, Fairdale rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second quarter to beat St. Xavier 55-52 at Valley.

The Bulldogs lost three straight games by a combined nine points from Dec. 21-27 but have won six in a row since then. The streak started with wins over Dickson County (Tenn.) and Enterprise (Ala.) in the consolation bracket of the Bay Barnstorm Classic in Panama City.

“When we went to Florida all of the teams were bigger than us and tougher,” said Payne, who moved within two points of 1,000 for his career. “Playing against them made us mentally and physically stronger. We came home and brought it back with us.”

Fairdale (12-4), No. 8 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, also got big games from Cory Thomas (14 points) and Boo Crabtree (12 points, nine rebounds) to avenge a 75-61 loss to St. X on Dec. 4. The Bulldogs will face the winner of Wednesday’s Butler-Eastern game in Friday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal.

Robert Shaw (13 points, four assists) and Brock Kiesler (13 points, 10 rebounds) led No. 11 St. Xavier (12-6), which had beaten No. 1 Trinity 45-42 on Friday.

Coach Kevin Klein wouldn’t use that victory as an excuse for Tuesday’s letdown.

“We have a sign that says, ‘No excuses. They don’t live here,’ ” Klein said. “It’s a matter of fighting through some mental and physical fatigue and finding a way to win.”

The Tigers appeared energized early, taking a 27-14 lead on Alex Jones’ basket with 3:04 left in the first half. But the Bulldogs closed with a 10-0 run and then scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take a 31-27 lead.

Klein said his team stopped executing its game plan.

“We played right into their hands with quick shots and did not make them defend,” he said.

St. X bounced back with a 16-6 run, taking a 43-37 lead on Andrew McCormick’s two free throws with 7:00 left. But the Tigers couldn’t hold on. Thomas scored six points during a 12-0 surge, including two free throws that gave the Bulldogs a 49-43 lead with 2:06 remaining.

Jones’ free throws with 6.7 seconds left pulled St. X within 54-52, and Caleb Longacre made 1 of 2 free throws to give Fairdale a 55-52 edge with 6.1 seconds left.

The Tigers had a final chance to tie, but Shaw’s long 3-point attempt was short.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Bulldogs coach Gregg Longacre said. “We did a lot of bad things down the stretch — missing free throws, turnovers, fouls. But this is a change from early in the season because we still found a way to win instead of going into overtime and losing it.”

Male 13 19 10 11 53
PRP 13 20 9 21 63

Male (14-5) – Stoner 19, Julian 12, Lambert 7, Parker 6, Brasher 4, Miller 3, Leon 2.

PRP (16-4) – Harris 17, Taylor 16, McDaniels 8, Byrd 7, Lavender 7, Sawyer 4, Hunter 4.

3-point goals – Stoner, McDaniels, Byrd, Harris, Lavender.

Fairdale 10 14 10 21 55
St. Xavier 17 10 12 13 52

Fairdale (12-4) – Longacre 7, Payne 15, Thomas 14, Crabtree 12, Lowry 7.

St. Xavier (12-6) – Shaw 13, Glasford 3, Jones 10, McCormick 4, Moody 5, Hardy 4, Kiesler 13.

3-point goals – Payne 2, Crabtree, Shaw, Glasford, Moody.

Jeffersontown 18 18 19 13 68
Doss 18 12 15 16 61

Jeffersontown (10-6) – Baker 2, Marshall 9, Hendricks 29, Williams 4, Howard 9, Johnson 12, Haskins 1, Minor 2.

Doss (12-6) – Weaver 10, McCarley 9, Dukes 4, Colbert 3, Gray 2, Smith 3, Little 17, Jefferson 10, Mason 3.

3-point goals – Hendricks 3, Johnson 2, Weaver 2, McCarley 3, Colbert, Smith, Mason.

Christian Academy 19 8 12 6 45
Moore 13 21 14 23 71

Christian Academy (10-10) – Hobbs 13, Passafume 11, Berry 7, Wade 4, Duff 4, Wells 3, Darst 3.

Moore (14-5) – – Jae. Sanford 15, Stott 14, Yates 13, Jam. Sanford 8, Armstrong 6, Fries 6, Drake 5, Evans 2, Robinson 2.

3-point goals – Hobbs, Jae. Sanford 3, Stott 2.

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Fairdale takes down St. X in Louisville Invitational basketball tournament
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