YOUTH BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS: St. Paul’s, Hanceville, West Point, Cold Springs, Good Hope, Fairview, Parkside snag titles


The fourth-grade girls' team from Cold Springs shows off its trophy. / Nick Griffin

HANCEVILLE – Championship Saturday kicked off bright and early at Tom Drake Coliseum on the campus of Wallace State for the Cullman County Youth Basketball Association. After fighting their way through the opening rounds last weekend, 16 teams made it to the finals, starting with the third-grade boys.

Third-Grade Boys – St. Paul’s 13, Fairview 12

The first matchup Saturday morning between St. Paul’s and the Aggies was a thriller that went down to the final seconds. Fairview led 6-0 at the half, but St. Paul’s went on a 10-2 run that gave them a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Aggies got four points in the final frame from Levi Hunt, tying the game at 12 with less than two minutes to play. Everyone in the building was expecting overtime, but then St. Paul’s Brandon Hopper knocked down the game-winning free throw with two seconds remaining in regulation. Hopper’s shot secured a 13-12 victory and a championship trophy for St. Paul’s.

Third-Grade Girls – Hanceville 10, Cold Springs 6 – Overtime

Game two was just as tight as Saturday’s first matchup, as the Lady Bulldogs and the Lady Eagles couldn’t settle things in just four quarters. Neither team led by more than two points at any point in the game until the overtime period began.

With the game tied at six, Hanceville’s Mattie Keith put up four points in overtime to pull away from Cold Springs. Keith scored six for the Lady Bulldogs, leading all scorers, and Kinsley Garmon led the way for the Lady Eagles with four.

Hanceville’s defense tightened up in the overtime period, shutting out Cold Springs and securing the third-grade girls title.

Fourth-Grade Boys – West Point 24, Good Hope 21

In yet another tight game Saturday morning, the West Point Warriors pulled away from the Good Hope Raiders late in the fourth quarter to secure the championship.

The Raiders were in control for most of the first half, getting out to a fast start in the first quarter and taking a 14-10 lead into the half. Good Hope’s Cabrey Valdez put up five points in the first half and finished the game with a team-high eight points. The second half belonged to the Warriors, however, who outscored Good Hope 14-7 to finish the game and claim the title.

Bryant Moon and Jaxon Shelton led the way offensively for the Warriors with eight and 12 points, respectively. They scored 12 of West Point’s 14 points in the second half to put away the Raiders.

Fourth-Grade Girls – Cold Springs 12, Vinemont 11

This was a matchup dictated by momentum swings and scoring runs. The Lady Eagles of Vinemont started the game strong, outscoring Cold Springs 6-0 in the first quarter, and led 7-1 at halftime. The second half was a different story. The Lady Eagles of Cold Springs went on an 8-0 scoring run in the third quarter, including a shot at the buzzer to take a 9-7 lead into the final frame.

The two teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter, but Cold Springs’ Macie Huffstutler hit a free throw with 2:13 left to play to take a 12-11 lead and Cold Springs held onto the lead through the finish. Madelyn Davis led Cold Springs in scoring with five points while Vinemont’s Caroline Miller led all scorers with six.

Vinemont had a couple of opportunities to score late in the game, but turnovers forced by the Cold Springs’ defense made it difficult for Vinemont to get a good shot up. The second half defense combined with the momentum shift on offense carried Cold Springs through the second half on its way to the championship.

Fifth-Grade Boys – Good Hope 37, Fairview 35

It was a tale of two halves in Saturday’s fifth-grade boys’ matchup between the Raiders and the Aggies. Like most of Saturday’s games, this one came down to the final shot.

Fairview got off to a fast start on both ends of the floor and led Good Hope 15-11 at the half, thanks in large part to Rhett Boyd’s seven first-half points. Boyd led the Aggies with 14 points.

The second half favored the Raiders however, as Good Hope put up 16 points in the third to take a 27-23 lead into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter was back and forth until the buzzer sounded and featured several big baskets in the final minute that shifted the momentum of the game.

Good Hope’s Jacob Haynes did a lot of the heavy lifting for the Raiders offensively, particularly in the final quarter of play, starting with his free throw that tied the game at 33 with less than two minutes to play. Haynes led all scorers in the game with 23 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Boyd answered with a free throw of his own that put Fairview back up with less than a minute left, but Haynes quickly responded with a layup that gave Good Hope a 35-34 lead with 25 seconds left. Fairview refused to go away, and it looked like we’d be headed to overtime after the Aggies’ Nicolas Gregory knocked down a game-tying free throw with 18 seconds to go in regulation. However, the Raiders were determined to finish it, and Haynes put in the game-winning shot with nine seconds to play to secure the win and a title for Good Hope.

Fifth-Grade Girls – Good Hope 30, Parkside 19

Saturday’s fifth-grade girls’ matchup between Parkside and Good Hope was a little more one-sided than some of Saturday’s other games. The Lady Raiders built a lead early and carried a 14-6 advantage into the half due in part to six quick points in the first quarter from Chloe Eisner. Good Hope added to its lead in the third quarter by holding the Lady Panthers to just four points in the entire frame while adding eight of its own to start the fourth with a 22-10 lead.

The Lady Raiders were able to keep Parkside’s offense contained enough in the final frame as well to secure a 30-19 victory and a title for Good Hope. The Lady Panthers were able to put together a small scoring run midway through the fourth and got the game back within two possessions on a basket from Jaila Eckleberry, but they couldn’t cut into the lead any deeper after that. Eckleberry led the game offensively with 12 points, followed closely by Good Hope’s Lexi Collins, who finished with 10. Good Hope also got a big lift on the offensive end late in the game from Mattie Wix. All eight of Wix’s points came in the second half and played a big part in putting away the Lady Panthers.

Sixth-Grade Boys – Fairview 43, Hanceville 39

In a matchup that saw the floor and stands covered in purple, the Fairview Aggies and the Hanceville Bulldogs put together the highest scoring game of the day. After leading 23-17 at the half, Fairview was able to hold on well enough on the defensive end to pull away from Hanceville in the final frame. The Bulldogs put together a scoring run in the third quarter that cut the Aggies’ lead to 35-32 and they kept pace in the fourth quarter, but some late baskets from Fairview secured the title for the Aggies.

There was plenty of scoring to go around for both teams, but there were certainly standouts for the two squads. Pressley Burtis led the way for the Bulldogs with nine points, while Fairview’s Jameson Goble and Kobe Payne put up 13 and 11 points, respectively.

He may not have finished with the most points, but Fairview’s Bryceson Turner undoubtedly had the most important ones. Turner scored the last four points for Fairview and finished with a total of six, all of them coming in the fourth quarter. Turner took the lead for Fairview twice on two baskets in the final two minutes of the game and sealed the championship for the Aggies with two free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Sixth-Grade Girls – Parkside 31, Holly Pond 20

The Parkside Lady Panthers took home the title in Saturday’s nightcap behind a smothering performance on defense and a consistent offensive output for four quarters.

Jayla Gorham led the way for the Lady Panthers offensively with 12 points and was a big part of the rebounding differential that Parkside put together. The Lady Panthers were able to extend possessions and get second chances on the board while also limiting the possessions for the Lady Broncos. Parkside had a 22-13 lead at the start of the final frame and was able to score enough in the fourth to hold of the offense of Holly Pond.

Lauryn Hoffman led the Lady Broncos offensively with six points, four of them coming in the final quarter. Parkside’s Somer Harris scored all four of her points in the fourth quarter and played a big role in pulling away from the Lady Broncos. The Lady Panthers won it 31-20 to take home their fourth consecutive county tournament championship.

Find a full photo gallery for each game here.

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