PREP BASKETBALL: Bearcats handle Belgreen 57-45 in Thanksgiving Bash

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Cullman’s Max Gambrill (20) goes up for a basket during the Bearcats’ 57-45 win over Belgreen Tuesday morning. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Cullman was on the hard wood bright and early at Tom Drake Coliseum Tuesday morning to take on their first opponent in this year’s Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Bash, Belgreen. The Bearcats and Bulldogs played a tight first quarter but after the shots started to fall in the second and third, Cullman pulled away to win it 57-45.

The Bearcats led things 7-5 midway through the opening quarter and held an 11-10 advantage at the start of the second. That’s when Cullman began to create separation. A Kaleb Heatherly bucket made it 15-10 early in the second and a layup from Jase Goolsby stretched the lead to 21-12 just a couple of minutes later. A nice basket by Jayden Orr put the ‘Cats up 27-14 late in the quarter and Cullman went into the halftime break with a 29-14 lead over Belgreen.

The Bearcats maintained a 36-19 advantage midway through the third that they built to 41-27 by the start of the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs cut the lead down to 11 at one point but Cullman got back on top 47-34 midway through the fourth. A pair of Tucker Gambrill free throws made it a 52-34 game with just a couple minutes to play and Belgreen was unable to close the gap, falling to the ‘Cats 57-45.

Tucker Gambrill led Cullman with 15 points in the win, followed by Heatherly with 10 and Max Gambrill with seven. Goolsby added six points for the Bearcats and Noah Bussman and Jayden Sullins each finished with five. Cullman will be back in action at Tom Drake Coliseum Wednesday at 2 p.m. to take on Lauderdale County.

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