HANCEVILLE, Ala. – All of the championship pairings for this year’s Cullman County Basketball Tournament were finally determined at Tom Drake Coliseum Friday night, starting with a JV Girls showdown between the Good Hope Lady Raiders and Holly Pond Lady Broncos. After a tight, back and forth battle, the Lady Raiders got it done at the free throw line late in the fourth quarter to escape with a 41-37 win over the Lady Broncos, earning a spot in Saturday’s title game in the process.
A three each by Samantha Giles and Lauren Hoffman gave Holly Pond a quick 6-0 lead early in the first period. Good Hope went on a run of their own as Desire’ Odachowski hit a pair from the line and Charly Johnson later converted on an and-one to give the Raiders a 7-6 lead midway through the period. Good Hope made it 10-6 on a Kyndall Seal trey, but the Lady Broncos wound up tying the game at 10 after the first with a Bai Widner layup.
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, but Good Hope broke the tie on a Seal trey to make it 13-10 early in the second period. A three by Odachowski stretched the Lady Raider lead to 17-10 midway through the period, but the Lady Broncos countered with a run of their own, as a three by Giles, later followed by a Raeleigh Olinger rebound and put-back, made it a 17-16 game. Good Hope added a pair from the line from Zoey Keller to make it a 19-17 Good Hope advantage at the half.
An Olinger short jumper tied the game at 19 early in the third period. Good Hope wound up taking a 25-21 lead on a steal and layup by Seal, but a Widner trey from the top of the key made it a 1-point game. Widner added two more from long range to give the Lady Broncos a 30-25 lead late in the third quarter. The Lady Raiders cut it to 32-29 on a Seal three from the left wing and Holly Pond went into the final period with the 3-point advantage.
A free throw by Maycie Black made it a 4-point lead for the Lady Broncos early in the fourth quarter. Giles added two more from the line to make it 35-29 with 4:49 remaining in the contest, but a short jumper by Renee McLeod made it a four-point game. McLeod added another shot to make it 35-33 more than midway through the final period. A free throw each by Giles and Olinger made it 37-34 with less than a minute to go in the contest. A huge and-one by Maddie McKenney with 19 seconds left gave the Lady Raiders a 38-37 lead and Odachowski added a pair from the line to make it a three-point Good Hope lead. Odachowski sealed the 41-37 win with a free throw and the Lady Raiders will take on (1) West Point on Saturday at 2:30 for the JV Girls county championship.
Seal finished with 14 points for Good Hope. Odachowski added nine, Johnson ended up with seven, McLeod finished with six, McKenney added three and Keller chipped in with two. For Holly Pond, Widner led the way with 12, followed by Olinger with 10 and Giles with nine.
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