PREP BASKETBALL: Warriors fall to Danville in West Point Christmas Tournament finals

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Will Cochran (0) led the Warriors with 24 points in their loss to Danville Saturday. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – After knocking off Corner Friday night to advance to Saturday’s West Point Christmas Tournament championship game, the Warriors met the Danville Hawks with this year’s tournament title on the line. Despite taking an early lead in the opening quarter, West Point couldn’t keep pace with the Hawks’ performance from three-point range and fell at home 71-64.

Aubry Cleghorn drilled a three to give the Warriors an early 6-2 lead and back to back baskets from Sam Wheeler put them in front 12-9 midway through the first quarter. Danville answered with a 13-4 scoring run that put the Hawks up 22-16 by the start of the second quarter and they continued to knock down jumpers from nearly everywhere on the floor.

A spinning layup by Tyler White cut the lead to 27-20 early in the second but Danville was back up by 10 by the midway point of the period. Five straight points from Will Cochran trimmed the lead to 39-33 late in the second but a basket at the buzzer helped the Hawks build a 41-35 lead at the halftime break.

An and-one play by Wheeler made it a 48-40 game early in the third but back to back three-pointers from Danville put the Warriors down 54-40. A basket from Logan Selby cut the lead to 54-46 midway through the third quarter and Selby added a pair of free throws with under a minute to play in the period to make it 60-51 heading into the fourth. A pair of free throws and a quick basket from Cochran cut the lead to 60-56 midway through the quarter and back to back jumpers from Cleghorn made it a 62-60 game with under three minutes to play. The Hawks were effective at the free throw line, knocking down four straight to pull ahead 68-60 with under a minute to play and held on to win it 71-64.

Cochran led West Point with 24 points in the loss, followed by Cleghorn with 11, Selby with 10 and Wheeler with eight. The Warriors will be back in action next Friday when they host the Russellville Golden Tigers in an area showdown.

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