CHAMPIONS: Fairmont Tops Terry Sanford for Boys Shootout Title
by Brad Crawford

Fairmont senior guard Juwan Addison became the fourth boys’ player in school history to be named the Shootout’s Most Valuable Player.
Fairmont senior guard Juwan Addison became the fourth boys’ player in school history to be named the Shootout’s Most Valuable Player.
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Fairmont’s Tyreke Addison and teammates hold the Robeson County Shootout championship trophy, avenging last season’s loss in the finals.
Fairmont’s Tyreke Addison and teammates hold the Robeson County Shootout championship trophy, avenging last season’s loss in the finals.
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LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Shootout began in 1986 as an opportunity for small schools to play against the big boys.

How fitting that 25 years later, a 2A sleeper just inside the state line took out one of the top 4A teams in the region.

Fairmont's Juwan Addison and Desmond Parker raised the 25th annual Shootout championship trophy high into the air at midcourt seconds after the Golden Tornadoes finished off their 72-64 upset of Terry Sanford Monday night at Lumberton.

The two seniors combined for 38 points to stave off a 27-point, 20-rebound effort from Bulldogs' forward Brandon Brown. The Golden Tornadoes ended the game on a 9-4 run in the final 1:11, triggered by a dunk and layup from Dalvin Whittington.

"All of our players really stepped it up tonight against a great team," Fairmont coach Michael Baker said. "You had two really good basketball teams going at it. They were undefeated. We were undefeated. The fans really got their money's worth."

In a virtual home game with a standing-room only crowd on their side, the Golden Tornadoes sent the Bulldogs to their first regular-season loss since Dec. 30, 2008 — a span of 39 games. Fairmont (7-0) trailed 29-28 at intermission despite leading by as many as nine in the first half.

"I told our guys to settle down and run our offense," Baker said after claiming his fourth Shootout title as coach. "I thought we settled for too many outside shots in the first half and got out of what we wanted to do. We came back out, relaxed, and executed our offense perfectly."

Donte Smith broke a 49-all tie with a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 4:59 mark of the fourth quarter and Fairmont never trailed again.

"We can play some basketball in Robeson County," Baker said. "There's a lot of good teams here. This win definitely ranks up there with the greatest I've ever been a part of."

Addison finished with a team-high 21 points, giving him an average of 22 points per contest over his team's three tournament games. For his efforts, Addison was voted the Shootout's Most Valuable Player, a season after seeing his cousin, Glenn Patterson Jr., win the award as Red Springs' standout scorer.

Addison joins an elite group of Fairmont guards to garner the honor, including Johnny Thompson, Robert McKinnis and Demorris Winningham.

"When you beat a two-time, 4A East defending champion, you know you can play at a competitive level," Addison said. "This was our game. We just had to make sure to go out there and win it.

"It's only one game. There's a whole conference season and playoffs left. Our goal is a championship. We're not done yet."

Terry Sanford (7-1) fought back from an early 15-6 deficit with a hounding halfcourt defense and points in the paint from Brown, an all-tournament honoree.

Point guard Chris Wilson, who came into Monday's title game averaging 15 points per game in the tournament, was held to 11 after playing just 20 minutes due to foul trouble. Wilson was whistled for his fourth foul with 1:58 to play in the third quarter and the Bulldogs trailing 39-38. Over the final two minutes of the quarter, Fairmont went on a 6-0 run to lead 45-38 heading into the final frame.

With Wilson on the bench, Terry Sanford tied the game at 49 with 5:15 remaining before Smith's shot from long distance have Fairmont the lead for good.

"I am sure (the fouls) got to him a little bit and it made him play less aggressive than he normally does," Terry Sanford coach Bill Boyette said. "I thought we did a great job with him on the bench though. The players did the job for him and I thought we picked it up tremendously when he was out of the game. That's the first time we had to do that this year and I think that we responded very well.”