FALKVILLE – Emily Willoughby and Camryn Crider of Cold Springs know when to step up their level of play, regardless if it's a summer play-day game or during the regular season.
Others for Cold Springs came on strong Friday while the Lady Eagles competed in the Danville play-day series on the campus of Falkville High School.
Good Hope's Lady Raiders joined Cold Springs in the festivities with a pair of assignments. The Lady Raiders were without the services of freshman point guard Kelley Pickett who recently suffered a concussion while playing AAU basketball. Adjustments were made by the squad in the quest to get important time on the floor during the summer season.
Cold Springs started the session with a solid effort in running away from Jackson-Olin out of Birmingham 60-39.
Then after Colbert County thumped Falkville 63-18, Good Hope played Jackson-Olin and fell 47-33.
That was followed by a very intense meeting with Cold Springs and Colbert County. The Lady Eagles overcame a slow start to make a game of it, but were defeated in the closing moments by the final margin of 50-42.
Good Hope wrapped up its tour of Tom Drake Gymnasium by dominating Falkville 42-20.
Cold Springs is encountering a change in personnel, like most of the local teams are for the upcoming season. The Lady Eagles lost starting point guard Bailey West and forward Rilee White along with reserve forward Kaleigh Merring to graduation.
The defending Cullman County champions have personnel that are now been given the opportunity to show coach Tammy West what they can in blending in with the experience of Willoughby, an all-state and all-star and Crider, who is just going into her sophomore season and gives the squad hustle and perimeter skills.
Kinley Campbell and Krista McAnnally rotated last season between the varsity and JV. They understand what West expects from them. So do Sadie Terry, Kelsey Johnson, Zoe Strawbridge and Neely Ellison, who were on the county tournament champion JV squad of last year.
Aubrey Negron was not on-hand for the games Friday. Negron provides the team size and strength in the front line entering her freshman campaign.
Cold Springs came out fast against Jackson-Olin, getting a 13-4 lead and scoring from long range plus attacking the basket and getting points by transition for a 33-20 halftime cushion.
The scoring was productive in the second half, 27 points with balance being shown and the Lady Eagles pulled away from the opponent out of the Magic City.
In the game with Colbert County, the Lady Eagles managed just two field goals by Willoughby through the first 10:00 and were down 19-4. Once the nerves settled, the Lady Eagles began a furious rally and closed the margin to 28-26 at halftime.
McAnnally, along with Johnson, Campbell and Crider, began to score from long range with Willoughby having to deal with Colbert County using a box and one defense to try and neutralize her.
The intensity moved to a higher rate in the second half with the Lady Eagles taking the lead on a couple of possessions before Colbert County answered with a late run, led by its top scorer, junior forward Chelsea Leach.
West was pleased with how her team responded from the slow start, proving they could compete with a ball club that was a Sweet 16 entry into the AHSAA postseason in Class 3A and expected to challenge this coming campaign.
Good Hope has a young and experienced lineup with freshmen guards Miriam Oldacre and Micah Oladcare and junior center Kate Kent to lead the team. Pickett is going through the concussion procedure, hoping to get back on the floor very soon.
Add the experience of Sadie Abbott and Skylar Hembree plus quickness from Makailey Speegle and coach Mike Oldacre is very optimistic his team can again challenge for the grand prize in Cullman County and compete well in 4A area play vs. Cordova and Dora.
Good Hope was outscored 13-4 in the closing moments of the first half to Jackson-Olin, seeing a close game become a 28-14 halftime cushion for the Lady Mustangs.
The Lady Raiders finished strong with a 15-7 run after they were down on the scoreboard in the second half 40-18.
Meeting a Falkville team that has gone through a coaching and personnel change, the Lady Raiders ran out to a 25-8 advantage by the break and kept it under control for the rest of the afternoon.
Cold Springs heads to Florette Monday for its next assignment in the Danville play-day series with games at Brewer High School.
The Lady Eagles will play DAR at 9:55 a.m., Brewer at 12:30 p.m. and Hazel Green at 2:10 p.m.
Good Hope's junior varsity is scheduled to play at Falkville on Tuesday vs. Danville, Winfield and Elkmont.
The summer play-day series, coordinated by Danville girls coach Paul Wilson, runs through June 23.