BRIENSBURG – Small schools, so often upstaged by bigger programs, had the game all to themselves in the Trees ‘n Trends Itty Bitty Christmas Tournament at Christian Fellowship School, with Fulton County defeating Whitesville Trinity 42-37 in the championship game Saturday.
Community Christian Academy of Paducah took third place, defeating Frederick Fraize 76-66, while Heritage Academy won the consolation bracket. Joppa, Ill., defeated the host CFS team 76-56.
Fulton County evened its season mark at 4-4 with three tournament victories en route to the championship. Trinity is 6-5 after winning two games and losing one in the tourney.
The Pilots, who opened the season with a 66-30 win over CFS in their gym Nov. 27, had a tougher time with the Eagles in the tournament’s opening game Thursday, but prevailed 49-41. They defeated CCA 53-36 in the semifinals.
Trinity sent Joppa into the consolation bracket with a 66-52 win Thursday and advanced to the championship with a 41-38 win over Dawson Springs.
Fulton County used its quickness to run out to a 10-point lead after a closely fought first half ended with the Pilots up 19-17. A combination of pressing defense and transition baskets resulted in a 12-0 run to open the second half and the Raiders found themselves down 37-24 after three periods.
They fought back with a barrage of three-point shots in the final period and cut the margin to six at 41-35, but could get no closer.
Fulton Co. 49, CFS 41
Eric Teodozow, a 6-2 senior forward, powered a strong start by the Eagles, who rang up a 10-6 lead at the first quarter stop over a quick, athletic Fulton County squad.
The Pilots outscored CFS 14-7 to go ahead 20-17 at intermission, the margin coming on a three-point basket by Aaron King in the final 30 seconds of play.
Fulton County built a 10-point lead at 27-17 before the Eagles got back on the scoreboard with a basket by Trevor Pruitt at 5:34. But CFS battled back and cut the margin to 29-26 on a putback by 6-4 center Andy Smith with 1:22 left in the quarter.
CFS was within two at 32-30 going into the final period, but got no closer until a three-pointer by Pruitt made it 42-41 with 2:08 left in the game. Fulton County got the final seven points.
Teodozow finished with 11 points, while Smith and Pruitt had nine apiece. Joe Holman and Steven Roberson led Fulton County with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Fulton Co. 6 20 32 49
CFS 10 17 30 41
FULTON CO.: DeVontae Hampton 5, Joe Holman 14, Domontrial Pierce 5, Steven Roberson 12, Shaquon Wilson, Shay Freeman, Sheron Nolan 3, Ryan Williams, Austin Matheny, Mike McClerkin 2, Aaron King 8
CFS: Joe Paul Dean 8, Sam Dean 2, John Robert Ward 2, Eric Teodozow 11, Andy Smith 9, Trevor Pruitt 9, Charlie Powell, Nick Gillespie
F. Fraize 61, CFS 59
In one of the most entertaining games of the tournament, Frederick Fraize got three points in the final minute of play to complete a comeback from a 13-point deficit midway in the third period.
CFS opened the third period with an 11-0 run to break away from a 32-32 deadlock, holding Fraize scoreless the first 3:19 of the period.
Then, after Phil Brown’s putback broke the drought and cut the double-figures lead to 43-34, the Eagles got a steal and layup by Joe Paul Dean and a basket by Eric Teodozow to push the advantage to 47-34.
Fraize got a basket by Aaron Gamble, and then Nick Smith took over. The 6-4 sophomore scored seven points in the final 51 seconds of the period and the comeback was on.
A fatal blend of turnovers, numerous free-throw chances and ill-advised shot attempts by CFS helped the Fraize comeback, but the Aces did not overcome the CFS lead until Bryce Basham stole the ball and drove for a layup that made it 60-59 with 57 seconds left.
Both teams missed free throws until Basham hit one of two to give the game its final margin with just over a second left to play.
Fraize hit 16 of 27 free throws, while CFS got to shoot only seven free throws and hit only three of them.
Teodozow led the Eagles with 17 points and 10 rebounds. John Robert Ward added 13 points.
Smith had 27 to lead the Aces and Basham added 17.
F. Fraize 15 32 43 61
CFS 14 32 49 59
FREDERICK FRAIZE: Bryce Basham 17, Aaron Gamble 8, Phil Brown 2, Nick Smith 27, Logan Fuqua 3, Christian Lamar 2, Chris McCoy 2, Kameron Hook
CFS: Joe Paul Dean 8, Trevor Pruitt 9, John Robert Ward 13, Eric Teodozow 17, Andy Smith, Sam Dean 2, Daniel Sassaman, Charlie Powell, Nick Gillespie 3.
Joppa 76, CFS 56
The Rangers from western Massac County in Illinois got 28 points from junior guard Tyler Castleman to pull away from the host Eagles in Saturday’s first game.
Joppa maintained a six-point lead through much of the first half, and then raced away in the second half with a 51-point outburst.
CFS got 21 points from Joe Paul Dean and 17 from Eric Teodozow. Complementing Castleman’s effort were Michael Sparks with 18 and Thomas Garner and Austin Arrison with 12 points apiece.
CFS 8 19 34 56
Joppa 14 25 49 76
CFS: Joe Paul Dean 21, Eric Teodozow 17, Sam Dean 6, Trevor Pruitt 4, John Robert Ward 3, Will Na 3, Andy Smith 2, Daniel Sassaman, Nick Gillespie, Charlie Powell, Matt Fleming
JOPPA: Tyler Castleman 28, Michael Sparks 18, Thomas Garner 12, Austin Arrison 12, Trenton Lewis 4, Austin Naeger 2, Brandon Jackson, Justin Harvill