Offensive explosion puts THS in title game

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Scoring 100 points in a basketball game is rare at the high school level, but the Thorsby varsity boys came close to making it happen.

The Rebels defeated Fayetteville 96-36 in an Area 9-2A semifinal matchup on Feb. 6.

Thorsby grabbed control of the game from the start and never looked back.

The Rebels led 51-19 at halftime and were on pace to hit the century mark.

“You always want to score as much as you can,” Thorsby senior Chase Merrell said.

Hot shooting was the story all game long, and not just from the starters, but also the reserves.

Thorsby senior Cain Niece drives to the basket for two of his 10 points against Fayetteville on Feb. 6. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Special)

Success came from everywhere on the court, especially beyond the arc, where the Rebels knocked down 10 three-pointers in the contest.

It got to the point where no matter which player threw up a shot from three-point range; the crowd rose to its feet and expected it to go in.

“They played as close to a perfect game that I could have asked them to play,” Thorsby head coach Tim Fortner said.

Ten players scored points for the Rebels, including four in double figures.

Christian Fortner led the way with 40 points, while Cole Farris added 14 and Cain Niece and Cole Hight scored 10 apiece.

Due to Thorsby’s final regular-season home game being cancelled, Merrell and Niece took part in senior night festivities, along with senior members of the girls basketball team and cheerleaders, prior to the area semifinal.

“You start realizing things and how you want to better yourself in your senior year,” Merrell said. “That’s what we’ve been able to do.”

Thorsby will host Billingsley in the area title game at 6 p.m. on Feb. 9. Hosting the area title game had been a goal of Thorsby’s throughout the regular season.

“When we get in a home environment, everybody feels comfortable,” Fortner said. “That’s why it was so important for us to win all those area games during the year. It paid off in the first game.”