Sports Column: ‘The best games I’ve ever covered’ vol. 1

West Point’s Kobe Bowers (left) and Holly Pond’s Zach Shaw (right). (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. — COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of spring sports and during this unprecedented time, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best games I’ve seen in my years with The Cullman Tribune. I’ve seen a lot of exciting games so far that had us all on the edge of our seats so feel free to add any games that you would include on your list as well.

September 23, 2016: The Good Hope Raiders and Cold Springs faced off against each other in Bremen in their first meeting since 2005. A low-scoring first half quickly turned into a shootout in the second half as both teams traded scores and a late rushing touchdown by Cayde Elliott gave the Eagles a 42-39 win at home.

November 12, 2016: Good Hope traveled to take on Danville in varsity basketball action. It was a tight contest for the whole game as each team switched the lead a few times in the final period before a late three by Kallen Sharpton with 22 seconds left gave the Raiders the 48-45 win.

December 21, 2016: Good Hope and Cold Springs faced off against each other in what turned out to be an exciting close contest. Cold Springs led for most of the game, but the Raiders tied the game to start out the final period, which saw several ties, before Isaac McDonald drilled the game-winning three from the right wing to give Good Hope a 42-39 win.

January 14, 2017: Hanceville took on Oakman at home with a chance to host the area tournament on the line. Despite trailing for most of the contest, the Bulldogs launched a furious rally to get the game into overtime and wound up taking over in the extra period to defeat the Wildcats, 99-93.

January 18, 2017: West Point hosted Walker in what turned out to be an instant classic. Each team looked to end the contest in regulation, but that wasn’t the case as it took five overtimes before the Warriors ended up falling to the Vikings, 80-76.

January 20, 2017: St. Bernard hosted J.B. Pennington in a game that came down to the last possession. The Saints jumped out to a quick lead, then the Tigers got back in the game in the first half. It was close the rest of the way until Christian Peterson got fouled shooting a three with two seconds remaining in the game and he calmly drilled all three to give St. Bernard a 46-44 win.

January 31, 2017: West Point’s varsity boys traveled to take on Lawrence County and the first half was dominated by the Red Devils as they held a 38-20 advantage at the half and took a 50-35 lead into the final period. A three-point barrage by the Warriors in the fourth period helped get them back in the game as they cut it to 61-59, but couldn’t get any closer than that as they wound up dropping the game by just two points.

February 10, 2017: The girls’ area championship game featured West Point and Fairview and in a contest that was dominated by the Lady Warriors through three periods, the Lady Aggies started out the final period on a 13-0 run to take the lead in the final period. Despite a late mini rally by West Point, huge points by Abbi Taylor, Taylor Yeager and Jada Golden gave Fairview a 58-52 win and their first area championship in 21 years.

February 11, 2017: The boys’ area championship game saw Fairview take on West Point at Hayden and the Aggies led for most of the contest, leading by as many as 10 at one point in the game. The Warriors got back in the contest as they traded the lead with the Aggies several times in the final period before some key free-throwing shooting by Luke Yarbrough and Bryson Fletcher gave Fairview a 67-64 win.

February 15, 2017: A spot in Regionals was on the line as Hanceville hosted Locust Fork. It was closely contested for most of the game and a Brendan Flanigan trey from the right wing tied the game and sent it into overtime, but they couldn’t quite get it done in the extra period as some key-free throwing by the Hornets late sealed Hanceville’s fate and they wound up falling, 68-64.

April 11, 2017: Cullman hosted their rival Hartselle in a huge softball game. In what turned out to be a pitchers’ duel, the Lady Tigers took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Bearcats rallied in their half and a game-winning single by Bailey Swann gave them a 4-3 win.

April 12, 2017: It was Senior Night for Cullman as they hosted Brewer in a huge area game. The contest saw both starters rack up a combined 33 strikeouts, but the Bearcats wound up taking the game, 1-0, on a one-out sacrifice fly by Weston Norton.

December 5, 2017: It was an exciting game at West Point as they hosted Holly Pond in a huge boys match-up. The Warriors led for a majority of the contest before the Broncos took control of the game behind their defense and some huge free throws late gave them a 76-74 win.

December 8, 2017: Addison hosted Sumiton Christian in what turned out to be a low-scoring affair. The Lady Bulldogs led by double digits in the fourth period before the Lady Eagles cut it to two at one point, but three free throws by Macey Butler helped seal the 35-30 win for Addison.

January 28, 2018: The JV boys county championship game saw the Holly Pond Broncos take on the West Point Warriors. In what was an exciting game between both teams, Holly Pond held a six-point lead late in the fourth period, but West Point made it a one-point contest and had a chance to win the game with two seconds left at the line, but they only made 1-of-3 from there as the Broncos went on to take the championship game, 44-43.

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