JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — The Good Hope Raiders were on the court for a Regional Tournament game for the first time since 2008 this morning and it was at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Matthews Coliseum to face the Anniston Bulldogs. The Raiders overcame a slow start and a big Anniston run at the end of the first half to get within six of the Bulldogs with less than a minute on the clock but couldn’t get any closer than that. Thanks in large part to a strong performance at the free throw line, Anniston was able to hold on and eliminate Good Hope 66-58.
Both teams struggled to score early in the first period and Cole Maddox laid one in to tie the game at 2 midway through the quarter. A 10-0 run gave the Bulldogs a 12-2 lead late in the first, but Drew Maddox drilled a three in the final seconds of the quarter to stop the bleeding and make it a 12-5 game at the start of the second.
Drew stayed hot, knocking down another triple early in the second to cut it to 15-8 and Cole Maddox added a three of his own to make it a 15-13 game with six minutes to play in the half. Drew Maddox buried another three-pointer to make it a 1-point game midway through the second quarter, but the Bulldogs finished the half on a 12-3 run to take a 29-19 lead into the locker room at the break.
Anniston held a 32-21 lead early in the third, but Dawson Turner nailed a three to make it 34-24 with just over five minutes to play in the period. Cole Maddox put one in to hold the lead to 10 with three minutes in the quarter but the Bulldogs pulled back in front 40-26. Turner drilled another three to cut it to 40-29 and a bucket by Lawton Farr made it a 40-31 game with just over a minute to play in the third. Anniston stretched its lead back to 13 late in the quarter but Turner banked one in just before the buzzer to trim the lead to 44-33 going into the fourth.
Cole Maddox tried to take over at the start of the final frame. He laid one in to hold the lead to 12 at the start of the period and knocked down four straight free throws to make it a 49-42 game with five minutes to play. Unfortunately for the Raiders, foul trouble began to rear its head midway through the fourth quarter and make things even more difficult against a great Bulldogs team.
Anniston built a 56-42 lead before Tanner Malin drilled one from beyond the arc to cut it to 11 with three minutes to play. After a free throw from Lowe made it a 10-point game, Cole Maddox knocked down a three to cut it 56-49 with two minutes to play. Lowe added another free throw with just over a minute to play to make it a 58-50 game and Cole Maddox hit two from the line to trim the lead to 58-52. Maddox traded two more free throws with the Bulldogs to make it a 60-54 game with 45 seconds and after another Anniston bucket, Cole laid another one it to hold the lead to six with less than 30 seconds to play. Two more free throws stretched the Bulldog lead to eight with 24 seconds on the clock and Good Hope just didn’t have enough time to keep chipping away. Anniston held on to win it 66-58 and will advance to play in the Northeast Regional Finals.
Cole Maddox the Raiders with 28 points in the loss, adding to his new career record total at Good Hope. Drew Maddox finished with 11, Turner posted eight, Lowe added six, Malin scored three and Farr finished with two.
The Raiders finish the season with a county championship, a sweet 16 appearance, a record of 26-5 and even though a large and highly decorated class of seniors; Drew Maddox, Cole Maddox, Harper Chiaranda, Dawson Turner, Michael Lowe, Eli Phares, Max Bavar and Colton Williams, will be departing in May, the foundation they’ve laid makes the future look bright for Good Hope Basketball.
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