CULLMAN COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Good Hope tops West Point in 51-50 nail biter to advance to JV Boys finals

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Good Hope’s Tyler Cone led the Raiders with 18 points in their 51-50 win over West Point Tuesday night. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – Good Hope and West Point squared off in Tuesday night’s final county tournament matchup with one more spot in the JV Boys County Championship Game up for grabs. At the end of one of the most competitive games of the tournament so far this week, the Raiders edged out the Warriors for the final spot in the county title game 51-50.

After being fouled on a three-point attempt, Good Hope’s Weston Hancock drained all three free throws to give the Raiders an early, 3-1 lead but neither team was able to get on the board for the next few minutes of the quarter. Kanaan Sutter drilled a three-pointer to give West Point a 4-3 lead with three minutes to play in the first, but Colton Whatley responded with a bucket on the other end to put Good Hope back in front 5-4. Both teams split a pair of free throws in the final minutes of the period to make it a 6-5 game going into the second quarter.

Ashton Rodgers laid one in at the start of the second to give the Warriors a 7-6 lead and Tucker Malin and Kolton Perry traded baskets to make it a 9-8 game. Tyler Cone knocked down a three to give Good Hope an 11-10 lead and Perry buried another try later in quarter to tie things up at 13. Malin collected another bucket to give the Raiders a 16-13 advantage with two minutes remaining in the opening half but a basket from Sutter trimmed the lead down to one. JD Cochran laid one in to give the Warriors a 17-16 lead with less than a minute to play in the period and West Point went to the locker room leading Good Hope by one.

Sutter scored on the first possession of the third to give the Warriors a 19-16 lead and Perry added a free throw to stretch the lead to four. Rodgers collected a steal and a basket to make it a 22-16 game early in the period and Perry laid one in to make it 24-16. Cone drained back to back three-pointers to stop the run and make it a 2-point game. Malin added a triple of his own to keep the momentum going and give Good Hope a 25-24 lead but Perry responded with a bucket on the other end to put West Point back on top by one.

Rodgers netted a free throw to give the Warriors a 27-25 advantage and laid one in on the next possession to make it a 4-point game. Cochran scored inside to stretch the lead to 31-26 with just over a minute to play in the third quarter but Cone buried his third three-pointer of the period to trim the lead to 31-29. However, Cochran was able to lay one in with just seconds on the clock to give West Point a 33-29 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

Cone started the final frame with another three-pointer from the left corner to cut the lead to one but a Chris Owens basket on the other end kept the Warriors in front 35-32 early in the fourth. A Kanen Trussell layup extended the lead to 37-32 but Konnor Stevens scored in transition to bring the lead back down to three with five minutes to play. Trussell netted a pair of free throws to make it a 39-34 game but Malin banked in a three-pointer cut the lead to two. Sutter and Perry each scored inside for West Point, but Whatley drilled another long-range three for the Raiders to hold the lead to 43-40.

A Stevens free throw made it a 2-point game with two minutes remaining and he split two more shots from the foul line to cut the lead down to 43-42. A put-back by Hancock gave Good Hope a 1-point lead but another score by Trussell on the other end gave the lead back to West Point at 45-44 with just over a minute to play. A huge final minute for Good Hope began when Stevens got a layup to fall and Malin buried a huge three-pointer from the right corner to put the Raiders up 49-45. Sutter laid one in for the Warriors with less than 30 seconds on the clock to make it a 2-point game but Cone drained two free throws with eight seconds on the clock to stretch the lead to four and ice the game for Good Hope. The Raiders needed both of them too because Rodgers knocked down a deep three as time expired to bring the final score to 51-50.

Cone led Good Hope with 18 points in the win, followed by Malin with 14 and Stevens and Hancock with seven. Sutter led the way for West Point with 12 points in the loss. Perry and Rodgers each finished with 11, Trussell posted eight and Cochran added seven.

Good Hope will advance to take on Fairview in this year’s JV Boys County Championship Game Saturday at 3:40 p.m. at Tom Drake Coliseum.

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