JASPER – Agreeing to play in front of the student body along with an entertaining pep band, the Cold Springs Eagles never showed signs of either getting the best of them Tuesday afternoon.
The defending Cullman County tournament champion used the play of veterans Josh Freeman and Triston Chambers and some timely field goals by sophomore Cayde Elliott in turning back the Walker Vikings 68-53 at Songer Gymnasium.
Freeman and Chambers delivered the scoring punch when coach Tim Willoughby needed it. Freeman scored nine consecutive points in the first quarter to protect a Cold Springs lead and had 16 by the half with the Eagles clinging to a 31-29 halftime advantage.
Chambers, one of the top offensive players in the county last season, got into rhythm during the second half with 16 points as the veteran pair combined for 49 on 16 field goals, four treys and 12 converted free throws.
Elliott, the point guard, began the game with a pair of 3-pointers to give the Eagles the early advantage. He tossed in his third trey during the second period and reached double figures when he nailed another trey from the wing in the fourth stanza.
While Walker was concerned about Freeman when the second half began, Chambers delivered with a trey from the top then a field goal and free throw and followed that with a basket in the paint and his second trey.
His 11 points in the third sparked a 20-11 run with the Eagles moving the lead to 51-40 at the end of the period.
Cold Springs used the free throw shooting of Freeman in the fourth who made five of seven. After scoring just four in the third, Freeman was back on a tear with nine in the last 8:00 and ended the season opener with 29 points.
Chambers accounted for 20, Elliott tossed in 12, Austin Moore contributed five and Derrick Isbell scored two.
For the 0-2 Vikings, shooting guard Austin Morris knocked down five treys and finished with 24 points.
The Eagles take on Vinemont Thursday at Jesse George Gymnasium then go to Fairview on Friday night.
Cold Springs 68, Walker 36 (Girls)
Later in the day, the Lady Eagles took to the floor for the season opener and matched the Eagles in point production.
Cold Springs led 8-0 less than a minute into the game and was ahead 19-2 with 4:00 remaining in the quarter. Six players got into the first period scoring for coach Tammy West with her team on top 24-13.
Walker scored twice to start the second period and narrow the deficit to 24-17. Then it was time for Emily Willoughby to set her scoring tone.
The sophomore tallied eight straight points to ignite another Cold Springs run. This one sent the Lady Eagles to a 32-17 advantage. From there, the Lady Eagles finished the first half on a 15-4 tear and enjoyed a 47-21 cushion at the break.
Playing well in the season was eighth grader Camryn Crider with 16 points. Crider scored three times from the perimter, hit three field goals and one free throw.
Senior McKinley Davis made her presence felt with 15, hitting eight of 10 from the foul line. Willoughby wound up with 15 as well while Keegan Johnson scored nine, Rilee White scored six, Caitlyn Hall four and Kaleigh Merring three.
Cold Springs' long range attack produced 10 treys for the opener with Crider, Willoughby and Johnson hitting three each.
The Lady Eagles held Walker to single digits in the second, third and fourth period with no Lady Viking scoring double figures. Anna Harris had nine for the home team who fell to 1-1 on the season.