Fairview made the last surge in a game of runs and held on for a 60-56 win over No. 1 seed Florien in a Class B semifinal.
Down by three, the No. 4 Panthers (32-5) scored 10 straight points early in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.
Florien (41-4) pulled within two with 58 seconds left on a Keaton Booker steal and layup. The Blackcats had two chances to tie the game, but had a layup spin off the rim and were called for an offensive foul on their next two possessions.
Fairview’s Payton Gordon sealed the win with two free throws with nine seconds left.
The game featured seven lead changes. Florien led by eight midway through the third quarter after starting the second half with a 9-2 run.
Fairview answered with eight straight. The game was tied at 44-44 after three quarters.
Florien head coach Klifford Walker said his team lost focus while losing the third-quarter lead.
“We got out of what we do,” he said. “We did not run an offense in the last five minutes of the third quarter. That is when they made their run. We were out of sync.”
Booker led Florien with 22 points, scoring 10 in the second quarter and 10 more in the fourth.
Grant Dowies scored 25 for Fairview, including two 3-pointers during the fourth-quarter surge. He made five 3-pointers in the game.
“We knew they could shoot it,” Walker said. “A couple of times we forgot who we were guarding, at times we helped too much and did not get back.”
Brennan Maddox had 18 points and 16 rebounds for Fairview, which won its first game in seven Top 28 appearances.
“Florien got down big early but fought back,” said Fairview head coach Ron Stark. “The momentum kept changing, it was the kind of game you hate someone had to lose.”Dowies hot some big threes and Maddox was a workhorse on the boards.”
Anthony Kimbrough had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Florien.