PREP BASKETBALL: Raiders knock off Warriors to capture 2018 West Point Christmas Classic Championship

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Cole Maddox led all scorers with 26 points in Good Hope's 59-52 win over West Point Saturday afternoon. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT – After winning on days one and two and knocking off the home-standing West Point Warriors in Saturday’s title game, the Good Hope Raiders were crowned the 2018 West Point Christmas Classic Champions.

The Raiders were knocking them down from long range early in the game, led by Noah Fendley who finished the first quarter with three makes from beyond the arc. Good Hope led 21-12 after the opening quarter, and back-to-back threes from Cole Maddox helped stretch that lead to 37-28 going into the break. Maddox finished the first half with 18 points.

The second half was a little slower and didn’t feature a lot of scoring, but turnovers made it difficult for the Warriors to chip away at the Raiders' lead. Good Hope led 49-37 going into the fourth quarter and had some trouble offensively in the final frame. Whitt Laney cut the Raiders' lead to 55-52 with a minute remaining in the game, but two made free throws from Cole and Drew Maddox held off the late push from West Point. The Raiders held on to win it 59-52.

Cole Maddox led Good Hope with 26 points, followed by Drew Maddox who finished with 14. Rylan Jones led the Warriors with 12 points in the loss, followed closely by Kolton Sapp who posted 10.

The Raiders will look to build off their tournament momentum when they travel to face Fairview on Jan. 3 and West Point will look to bounce back when it plays Russellville on the road Jan. 4.

Cullman 81 – Hayden 73

The ‘Cats shot the three ball early and often in their win over Hayden on Saturday, led by Tucker Gambrill who finished the game with 23 points and seven makes from 3-point range. Cullman finished the opening quarter with a 23-17 lead and extended its advantage to 47-31 by halftime. The Bearcats hit nine 3-point shots in the first half alone, four of which came from Gambrill.

The third quarter featured more of the same as Cullman continued to hit shots from the outside and add to its lead. The Wildcats trailed by 18 going into the final frame and they were able to chip away in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for Hayden. The ‘Cats held on to win it 81-73 and finish third in this year’s West Point Christmas Classic.

Gambrill led the Bearcats with 23 points, followed by Jayden Sullins and JT White who finished with 19 and 14 points, respectively. Cullman finished the game with 12 makes from 3-point range.

The Bearcats will try to stay hot when they travel to compete in the Pleasant Grove Invitational starting Jan. 3.

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