HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The top-seeded Good Hope Raiders squared off against the no. 4 seed, Hanceville, in Friday night’s first varsity matchup and there was a lot of scoring to go around early. After building a 45-32 lead at the half, Good Hope pulled away to knock off Hanceville 80-49 and advance to the county championship game with a chance to defend the title.
A Tyson Bellmon three-pointer have Hanceville an early 3-0 lead and Raiden Morgan scored down low to make it 5-0. Another Morgan basket gave the Bulldogs a 10-5 lead with just over five minutes to play in the opening quarter, but Drew Maddox buried a three from the right wing to trim the lead to 12-8 midway through the period. Cole Maddox converted an and-one play at the line to tie the game at 14 with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter and a basket from Michael Lowe gave Good Hope its first lead of the game at 16-14. Bellmon drilled another three-pointer to tie the game at 19 late in the first but Lowe responded with an and-one play on the other end to put the Raiders back up by three. Tanner Malin scored off a Hanceville turnover to make it 24-19 with just over a minute to play in the period and Cole Maddox knocked down a jumper to stretch the lead to seven. After Cole netted two more free throws, Good Hope went into the second quarter with a 28-19 advantage over the Bulldogs.
An Eli Phares basket made it 30-19 at the start of the second but back to back steals by Brodie Malcom helped Hanceville cut the lead to seven. Malcom scored at the rim to make it a 32-25 game with just under five minutes to play in the half and Morgan scored down low to cut it to 32-27. A Bellmon jumper trimmed the lead to five midway through the second but a basket by Drew Maddox on the other end made it 36-29. Back to back buckets from Cole Maddox gave the Raiders an 11-point lead with just two minutes remaining in the half and after Cainon Moore scored with just under a minute on the clock to make it a 45-31 game, the Bulldogs went into halftime trailing Good Hope 45-32. Cole Maddox put up 20 points in the first two quarters alone.
Back to back Lowe buckets put the Raiders in front 51-34 early in the third quarter and Drew Maddox buried a triple from the top of the key to make it 56-36 midway through the period. Two more Cole Maddox baskets stretched the Good Hope lead to 24 with less than three minutes to play in the quarter. Phares and Malin buckets made it 66-38 with just over a minute to play in the third and Malin put another one in just before the buzzer to put the Raiders on top 68-39 going into the final frame. Good Hope outscored Hanceville 23-7 in the third quarter.
Morgan knocked down a deep three to chip away early in the fourth quarter, but Lawton Farr answered with a trey on the end to make it 73-44. Dawson Turner added a three from the right wing to put the Raiders up 32 midway through the fourth and with the clock running, Good Hope pulled away to win it 80-49 and move on to this year’s varsity boys title game.
Cole Maddox led the Raiders with 30 points in the win, followed by Drew Maddox with 14, Lowe with 12 and Malin with nine. Morgan finished with 18 points in the loss for Hanceville. Malcom added 11 for the Bulldogs and Bellmon posted six.
(1) Good Hope will defend its county title against either (2) West Point or (3) Cold Springs Saturday night at 7 p.m.
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