PREP BASKETBALL: Good Hope secures no. 1 seed in Co. Tournament: Bearcats win in double OT

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Cole Maddox led the Raiders with 20 points in Good Hope's 60-55 win at Hanceville Tuesday night. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE – Good Hope traveled to Hanceville Tuesday night for a pair of huge county games and each team wound up taking home a win. The Lady Bulldogs took the girls' game over the Lady Raiders 60-41 and in the boys' game, Good Hope rallied late to defeat Hanceville 60-55 and secure the no. 1 seed in the Cullman County Tournament this month.

(14-4) Good Hope 60 – (14-4) Hanceville 55 (varsity boys)

The first quarter was back-and-forth between Good Hope and Hanceville, but the Bulldogs held a slim 16-15 lead after one. Behind a layup by Matt Dixon and a 3-point play by Cole Maddox, the Raiders took a 20-16 lead. Hanceville, though, responded with a huge run of its own, scoring 16 straight points to push the lead to double-digits at 32-20. Good Hope scored the final six points of the period to make it a 32-26 game at the half.

The third quarter was more like the first as both teams traded huge baskets. Drew Maddox nailed a long-range shot to give the Raiders a 40-36 advantage, but Hanceville's Fred Ellis helped jump-start a 10-4 quarter-ending run by scoring eight of the Bulldogs' last 10 points, giving Hanceville a 46-44 lead going into the final period.

A 7-2 Raider run to start out the fourth quarter gave them a 51-48 lead, but Hanceville took the lead right back at 53-51 after an Ellis 3-point play. The Bulldogs made it 55-52 on a pair of Romain Ponchon free throws. After a Cole Maddox shot made it a one-point game, Good Hope forced the biggest turnover of the game when Eli Phares came up with a steal and laid it up and in to give the Raiders a 56-55 lead. Michael Lowe got a huge block on the next possession and Cole Maddox went 4-of-4 from the line the rest of the way to help seal the 60-55 Raider victory.

With the win, Good Hope clinched the no. 1 seed for the upcoming Cullman County Tournament at Wallace State.

Cole Maddox finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and a block for Good Hope. Drew Maddox wasn't too far behind, adding 16 points, two rebounds and a steal. Michael Lowe ended up with 10 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and a steal. Noah Fendley added eight points, five rebounds and two steals.

The Raiders will head home to take on Holly Pond on Thursday night.

Ellis led the way for Hanceville with 20 points, seven rebounds and a block. Ponchon added 10 points and a steal. R.J. Evans ended up with eight points and seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs will take on Locust Fork at home Thursday night. 

(15-6) Cullman 79 – Athens 77 (2OT) (varsity boys)

The Bearcats and the Eagles went back and forth seemingly all night in this one, but in the end, it was the home team that held on to win it 79-77 in double overtime.

The first seven Cullman baskets were scored by seven different Bearcats and they continued to spread the scoring around to several players throughout the game. Cullman led it 15-14 at the end of the first quarter and led Athens by 10 at one point in the second. The Eagles cut the lead to 30-26 at the half and trailed by just two going into the fourth quarter.

Back to back 3-point baskets and a fast-break layup put the Eagles on top 53-51 midway through the final frame and stretched that lead to 57-51 in the next couple of possessions. JT White knocked down two free throws to cut the lead to 57-55 with less than two minutes to play and laid another one in on the next Cullman possession to tie the game. The Eagles came up with a steal and scored to go ahead by two with 30 seconds to play, but the Bearcats had one more opportunity to tie it up. Jace Goolsby went up strong under the basket and was fouled as time expired. With no time on the clock, Goolsby knocked down both free throws to send the game into overtime tied at 59.

The lead changed hands several times in the start of the overtime period, but an and-one basket and two free throws put Athens ahead 71-66 with less than a minute remaining on the clock. JD Parrish drove to the basket and laid one in to cut the lead to three and after coming up with a defensive stop, Noah Bussman hit a three in front of the Cullman bench to tie the game at 71 with 20 seconds to play. The Eagles couldn’t answer with a basket of their own and the game went into double overtime.

Jayden Sullins hit two free throws midway through the second overtime to give the ‘Cats a 74-73 lead and they would continue to do damage from the line for the rest of the game. Sullins knocked down two more free throws inside of two minutes to go up by three before Athens was able to cut it to one with less than a minute to play. A technical foul on the Eagles' bench sent Parrish to the line and his two shots made it a 78-75 Cullman lead with 20 seconds to play. Sullins hit one more shot from the line with 12 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach and the Bearcats held on to win it 79-77.

Nine different Bearcats found the scoring column in the win, led by Sullins with 18 points. JT White was next with 13, Parrish and Tucker Gambrill each finished with 12 and Mason Herron posted eight.

Cullman will be back in action Friday night when the Bearcats host the Hartselle Tigers.

(10-6) Hanceville 60 – (2-12) Good Hope 41 (varsity girls)

Hanceville jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead behind eight points from Kelly Pickett and baskets from Lauren Roberson and Cassidy Campbell. The Lady Bulldogs wound up taking a 21-9 lead into the second period. 

Pickett continued her red-hot first half, adding 11 more in the quarter, and Hanceville's defense made things tough for Good Hope, allowing only eight points. The Lady Bulldogs took a 36-17 lead into the locker room.

The Lady Raiders looked to get back in the game to start off the second half as a 6-3 run made it a 39-23 game, but Hanceville made sure they didn't get any closer than that. The Lady Bulldogs led 46-29 after three and wound up winning the game 60-41.

Pickett led the way for Hanceville with 29 points, four rebounds, seven steals and a block. Roberson added 10 points and seven rebounds. Campbell and Mira Geiser each finished with six rebounds. For Good Hope, Heather Tetro finished with 12 points, two rebounds and a steal. Rudi Derrick added seven points and three steals. 

The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Raiders will both be back on the court Thursday night when they host Locust Fork and Holly Pond, respectively.

Athens 59 – (17-5) Cullman 46 (varsity girls)

The Lady Bearcats had some offensive struggles in their matchup with Athens, starting with turnovers in the opening quarter. The Lady Eagles took an early lead thanks to some transition buckets, but Cullman was able to tie the game at 11 by the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Bearcats still couldn’t get into a good rhythm on the offensive end, but their defense kept them close and they went into the locker room trailing 22-21 at the half. Turnovers were a problem for Cullman once again in the third quarter and the Lady Eagles were able to build a 39-28 lead going into the final frame.

Athens was able to find ways to pass out of the Lady Bearcats’ press defenses and use long possessions to kill the clock. Hannah Hoffman converted an and-one play midway through the period to cut the lead to single digits and AK Eastman knocked down two free throws inside of three minutes to make it a 50-46 game, but Cullman was shut out the rest of the way. Athens finished the game on a 9-0 run to pull away with the win.

Olivia Neal was the leading scorer for the Lady Bearcats with 13 points, followed by Anna Grace Murphy with nine and Alexandria Barker with six. Hoffman and Jaden Winfrey each finished with five.

Cullman will look to bounce back Friday night for a big matchup with the Hartselle Lady Tigers

Other Tuesday night scores:

Cold Springs 45 – Southeastern 32 (varsity boys)

Cold Springs 84 – Southeastern 20 (varsity girls)

Brindlee Mountain 59 – Vinemont 52 (varsity boys)

Brindlee Mountain 37 – Vinemont 30 (varsity girls)

Oneonta 62 – Fairview 44 (varsity boys)

Fairview 66 – Oneonta 45 (varsity girls)

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