PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Bearcats knock off Decatur Heritage 54-46, Bearcats blow past Danville 85-61

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Cullman’s Hannah Hoffman (22) fights for the ball during the Lady Bearcats’ 54-46 win over Decatur Heritage Monday. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune

CULLMAN, Ala. – Both the Bearcats and Lady Bearcats were playing at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and welcomed in Decatur Heritage, Danville and Addison for a triple-header. The Lady ‘Cats got things started with a 54-46 win over Decatur Heritage and the boys followed them with an impressive, 85-61 victory over the Danville Hawks. The Lady Bearcats then faced Addison, who came into the matchup with a 15-1 record but suffered their second loss of the season after falling 97-22. Cullman will travel to face Mortimer Jordan Tuesday night.

Cullman 54 – Decatur Heritage 46 (varsity girls)

Two quick three-pointes by Jaden Winfrey and AK Eastman gave Cullman a 6-0 lead right out of the gate and Eastman added another triple to make it 9-0 early in the first. The Lady Eagles managed to cut the lead to down to 13-9 midway through the opening quarter but an Eastman layup in the last 20 seconds of the period gave the Lady Bearcats a 16-9 advantage going into the second.

Alexandria Barker finished off an and-one play at the line to stretch the lead to 23-11 early in the second quarter and an Ella Collum basket made it a 27-17 game midway through the period. Regan Quattlebaum scored to put Cullman in front 29-19 with just over a minute to play in the half and the Lady Bearcats went into the locker room with a 30-22 lead at the break.

Decatur Heritage trimmed the lead to 32-28 early in the third quarter but a nearly full court pass from Eastman to Barker led to an easy two points and made it a 34-29 game at the five-minute mark of the period. Ava McSwain converted an and-one play at the free throw line to give Cullman a 41-31 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third and pair of Winfrey free throws made it 43-31. The Lady Bearcats led the way 44-33 at the start of the final period.

The Lady Eagles cut the lead to five early in the fourth quarter but a steal that turned into an and-one for Winfrey put Cullman up 47-39 with just under five minutes to play. McSwain added a three with less than three minutes to play put the Lady ‘Cats up 10 and after Barker netted two more free throws to make it 52-42 with two minutes to play, Cullman pulled away to win it 54-46.

Eastman led the way for the Lady Bearcats with 13 points. Winfrey posted 12, Barker finished with 10 and Quattlebaum and McSwin each added six.

Cullman 85 – Danville 61 (varsity boys)

Tucker Gambrill netted a three-pointer to give the Bearcats an early 5-0 lead over the Hawks and back to back threes from Noah Bussman stretched the lead to 13-4 with just three minutes off the clock. Tucker Gambrill drilled another three to make it 16-4 midway through the first and a Jayden Sullins gave the ‘Cats a 20-7 lead at the three-minute mark. Cayden Graham added a three-pointer to build on the lead and a Jase Goolsby layup made it a 27-8 game late in the period. Kaleb Heatherly knocked down a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds to give Cullman a 31-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. Seven different Bearcats scored in the opening quarter.

Back to back buckets from Tucker Gambrill and Bussman extended the lead to 35-16 early in the second and Max Gambrill scored to make it 38-18 with just over four minutes remaining in the half. Sullins scored back to back baskets off of turnovers to give Cullman a 46-19 lead late in the second quarter and the Bearcats went into the half with a 48-22 advantage over Danville.

Heatherly scored two more baskets early in the third to make it a 56-28 game and Graham drilled another three to stretch the lead to 61-36 midway through the quarter. A Goolsby jumper made it 63-38 late in the third and the ‘Cats went into the final frame with a 64-41 lead over the Hawks.

Another Sullins jumper, followed by an and-one play by Max Gambrill, gave Cullman a 72-49 lead midway through the fourth. Tucker Gambrill added one more three-pointer to make it 78-56 with under three minutes to play and after another three from Graham stretched the lead to 85-59, the Bearcats cruised to an 85-61 win over Danville.

Six different players finished in double figures for Cullman, led by Sullins with 15. Tucker Gambrill finished with 13, Heatherly and Graham posted 12, Max Gambrill added 11 and Bussman scored 10 in the win.

Cullman 97 – Addison 22 (varsity girls)

The Lady Bulldogs entered Monday’s matchup against Cullman with an impressive, 15-1 record but couldn’t keep pace with the Lady Bearcats and fell 97-22. Jaden Winfrey racked up 14 points in the opening quarter to help give Cullman a 33-5 lead after one and the Lady Bearcats continued to pull away, leading Addison 59-10 at the halftime break.

Winfrey scored nine more points in the third quarter as Cullman continued to run away from the Lady Bulldogs and with the clock running during the final frame, the Lady Bearcats finished off dominant, 97-22 victory over Addison.

Winfrey led Cullman with 27 points in the win, followed by Regan Quattlebaum with 21, AK Eastman with 12 and Sidney Smith and Kinslee Borden each finished with nine.

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