PREP BASKETBALL: Bearcats, Lady Bearcats split home-opener against Arab

Cullman’s Jaden Winfrey (4) led the Lady Bearcats with 18 points in their win over Arab Tuesday night. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Tuesday night was the home opener for this year’s Cullman basketball teams and they were hosting the Arab Arabian Knights. The Lady Bearcats got things started with a 64-28 win over Arab to move to 2-0 on the season but the Bearcats dropped the second matchup of the night 67-54 to drop to 1-1.

Cullman 64 – Arab 28 (varsity girls)

Cullman got off to a 5-0 start almost immediately and stretched that lead to 9-0 midway through the opening quarter. Arab scored its first points of the game with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter to cut the lead to 11-1 but the Lady Bearcats ended the quarter with a 20-3 advantage. Jaden Winfrey and AK Eastman were a problem for the Lady Knights backcourt as the duo generated several steals and easy buckets in the first half for Cullman.

Arab managed to make it a 27-8 game at the three-minute mark of the second quarter but the Lady Bearcats ended the first half on a big scoring run to stretch the lead to 39-16 at the break.

Cullman started the third quarter on a 10-4 scoring run to make it a 49-20 game and continued to pour it on. After hitting another scoring run, the Lady Bearcats went into the final frame with a 57-24 lead. The hot clock kicked in at the start of the fourth quarter and Cullman pulled away to collect its second win of the season 64-28.

Winfrey led the Lady Bearcats with 18 points, followed by Alexandria Barker who finished with 12 and Eastman with 10. Hannah Hoffman added seven points, Ella Collum posted five and Kinslee Borden, Sidney Smith and Regan Quattlebaum each finished with four points in the win.

Arab 67 – Cullman 54 (varsity boys)

After a scoreless couple of minutes to start the game, Tucker Gambrill knocked down a three to give the ‘Cats an early lead and they quickly stretched it to 7-0 before taking a 10-3 lead midway through the opening quarter. Unfortunately for the home crowd, Cullman couldn’t maintain that level on the offensive end for very long. The Bearcats led things 11-7 at the end of the first quarter but Arab pulled ahead for its first lead of the night early in the second.

The Knights led the way 14-13 at the 5:00 mark of the second quarter but went on a 10-0 scoring run to build a 24-13 advantage late in the period. Another Gamrbill three trimmed the lead to 26-22 with 1:00 to play in the quarter but Arab was able to take a 30-23 lead into the halftime break.

The third quarter was one the Bearcats would like to forget. The Knights held Cullman to just 10 points in the third to pull ahead 45-33 by the start of the fourth and kept the ‘Cats in check the rest of the way. The Bearcats weren’t able to get within 15 points of Arab until the final two minutes but by then it was too little, too late and the Knights held on to win it 67-54.

Gambrill led the way for Cullman with 23 points and Jase Goolsby was the only other scorer to finish in double digits with 12. Caleb Heatherly added eight points, Cayden Graham posted five and Tucker Apel finished with four in the loss.

Both the Bearcats and Lady Bearcats will be back in action Thursday when they travel to Madison Academy.

Copyright 2019 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.