Olivia Neal (24) drives past a Hartselle defender during Cullman's 66-41 loss at Hartselle Monday night. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)
HARTSELLE – Monday night was a tough road trip for Cullman. Both the Bearcats and Lady Bearcats were defeated soundly by Hartselle in a pair of area matchups and the Lady Tigers clinched the opportunity to host next week’s area tournament with their win over Cullman.
Hartselle 66 – Cullman 41 (varsity girls)
Hartselle took the drama out of the night’s first matchup almost immediately. The Lady Tigers got off to a 13-0 start and took advantage of several turnovers to build a 26-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. AK Eastman scored all nine points in the first quarter for Cullman.
Hartselle continued to widen the gap in the second quarter, scoring inside and outside. A 3-pointer from Kinslee Borden made it a 41-13 game midway through the second, but the Lady Tigers were up 51-18 by the half.
Hartselle took advantage of more turnovers from the Lady Bearcats in the third quarter to get off to another fast start and maintained a 55-22 lead midway through the period. The Lady Tigers stretched the lead 63-23 by the start of the fourth quarter and went on to win comfortably, 66-41. Eastman led Cullman with 22 points in the loss.
The Lady Bearcats will try to put this one behind them when they travel to Athens Friday night.
Hartselle 83 – Cullman 44 (varsity boys)
The Bearcats took an early 8-4 lead midway through the first quarter on a bucket from Kaleb Heatherly but it was all Tigers the rest of the way. Hartselle managed to take a 17-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and outscored Cullman 28-2 in the second to build a commanding 45-14 halftime lead.
The Tigers continued to pour it on in the second half, opening the third quarter on a 7-0 run. Jaden Orr netted a free throw early in the period to end the scoring drought for the Bearcats, but Hartselle built a 70-30 lead by the start of the fourth quarter and pulled away to win it 83-44.
Tucker Gamrbill led Cullman with 10 points in the loss, followed by Heatherly and JD Parrish with seven. Noah Bussman and Jayden Sullins each posted six points.
The Bearcats will look to bounce back from this one Friday night when they travel to take on Athens.
Other Monday night scores:
Cold Springs 76 – Vinemont 29 (varsity girls)
Cold Springs 56 – Vinemont 48 (varsity boys)
West Point 54 – Jasper 47 (varsity girls)
Jasper 60 – West Point 49 (varsity boys)
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