CULLMAN COUNTY TOURNAMENT: (2) West Point advances to semifinals after handling (7) Holly Pond 78-65

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West Point’s Will Cochran (0) led the Warriors with 26 points in their 78-65 win over Holly Pond Wednesday night. (Bill Piper for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wednesday night concluded with a varsity boys matchup between (2) West Point and (7) Holly Pond. After building an early lead against the Broncos, the Warriors had to withstand a huge third quarter rally by Holly Pond and they advanced to the semifinals with a 78-65 win over the Broncos.

Tyler White pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back in the basket with just two minutes coming off the clock. Holly Pond’s Levi Boatright drilled a three from the left corner to give the Broncos a 3-2 lead, but an Aubry Cleghorn basket gave the Warriors a 4-3 lead. Kobe Bowers then drilled a pair from the line to make it 6-3 with five minutes remaining in the opening period. Tyler White then drilled a pair of threes and Will Cochran scored off a Broncos turnover to give them a double-digit lead at 14-3 with 3:58 remaining in the quarter. Kyler Chaney stopped the run with a layup to cut it to 14-5, but Cochran made it 17-5 on a layup. A White jump shot pushed the West Point lead to 21-7 late in the first period and the Warriors wound up taking a 25-12 lead into the second.

Tyler Thompson got the rebound and a put-back to give West Point a 27-12 lead early in the second quarter. A Thompson layup made it 31-12, but a three by the Broncos’ Landon Rowell cut the deficit to 16 and three Chaney free throws then cut the lead to 13. A Chaney layup made it a 35-22 game less than halfway into the quarter, but a Carter Thornton trey pushed the Warrior lead to 38-22. Jayden Perkins hit a layup to make it a 14-point contest but a Mason Walls three increased West Point’s lead to 41-24. The Broncos later answered with a trey from Parker Sellers with 30 seconds left and Boatright drilled one from the top of the key just before the buzzer sounded to cut the deficit to 10 at 42-32 at the half.

Holly Pond chipped away at the lead early in the third quarter thanks in large part to six points from Chaney in the first three minutes that cut the lead to 44-40. A fastbreak layup by Jaxon Olinger made it a two-point game, but White scored to make it 46-42 midway through the third quarter. A Sellers basket made it 48-46 and a three late in the period by Jordan Allbright knotted the game up at 49, but Thompson converted a three-point play to give the Warriors a 52-49 lead and a Bowers floater pushed their lead to 59-49. An and-one by Cochran pushed the lead to 62-49 in the final seconds of the third and West Point went into the fourth quarter leading Holly Pond by 11.

An Olinger trey cut the lead to eight, but White countered with one of his own to make it an 11-point game again. Boatright made it a nine-point contest with a layup. Another Olinger trey made it 66-59, but Cochran got a layup to fall on the other end to make it a nine-point game. Cochran nailed a floater to make it 70-59 and later added an and-one to make it a 74-61 game. A Cleghorn layup made it 78-63 and the Warriors wound up taking the game 78-65 to advance to the semifinals where they will take on (3) Cold Springs on Friday night at 7:30.

Cochran finished the game with 26 points for West Point. White added 15, Cleghorn ended up with 11 and Bowers finished with nine. For Holly Pond, Chaney finished with 30 points, Boatright ended up with 12, Olinger added eight and Sellers finished with five.

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