CULLMAN COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Raiders outlast Fairview 64-54

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Good Hope’s Tanner Malin posted a game-high 22 points in the Raiders’ 64-54 win over Fairview Wednesday night. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Good Hope and Fairview clashed in Wednesday night’s second varsity boys matchup and it was a fast-paced affair from the start. The Raiders were in control for what felt like most of the game but could never quite pull away from Fairview. However, Good Hope was able to hang on at the end to defeat the Aggies 64-54, clinching a spot in the semifinals.

Owen Yarbrough and Parker Martin layups gave the Aggies a 4-0 lead to start the game, but Colton Lindsey got the Raiders on the board with a three-pointer to cut the lead to one. Tanner Malin scored an easy basket off a turnover to give Good Hope a 5-4 lead, but Yarbrough nailed a deep three to put Fairview back in front 7-5. A pair of Malin free throws tied things up at 7 midway through the first and he and Charlie O’Neil added threes give the Raiders a 13-7 advantage. Landon Tweedie stopped the Good Hope run with a three from the right wing, but Lindsey responded with a three of his own to make it a 16-10 game with a minute remaining in the first. Yarbrough laid one in to trim the lead to 16-12 late in the period and the Aggies went into the second quarter trailing by just four.

Lawton Farr converted a three-point play at the line and scored another basket off a turnover to extend the lead to 21-12 at the start of the second but Peyton Bailey drilled a three-pointer on the other end to cut the lead to six. Preston Ryan scored inside to make it a 4-point game but Malin answered with a three to stretch the lead back to 24-17. Jack Brown and Yarbrough each scored to make it a 24-21 game with less than five minutes remaining in the half, but Farr drained another three to put Good Hope in front 27-21.

That’s when Bailey knocked down corner three and got fouled. After converting the 4-point play at the line, the Aggies trailed by just two. A bucket from Noah Barnette made it a 31-25 game with two minutes to play in the half and Yarbrough knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a 4-point game. Ryan laid one in to trim the lead to 31-29 but Lindsey scored inside to build the lead back to four. Malin scored in transition to give the Raiders a 35-29 lead with 30 seconds remaining in the period and he tipped in his own miss just before the buzzer make it a 37-29 game at the halftime break.

Ryan and Malin traded baskets to start the third quarter and make it 39-31 and Farr and Malin each scored off turnovers to give Good Hope a 43-31 lead. Another transition basket by Malin put the Raiders in front by 14 with five minutes to play in the third but a pair of Tweedie free throws brought the lead down to 45-33. Michael Owens laid one in to add to the Good Hope lead midway through the period, but Yarbrough responded with a basket on the other end to keep the Raiders from creating more separation. Yarbrough scored inside to make it a 48-38 game with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Lindsey scored a basket in the paint on the other end to keep the Raiders in front by 12. Bailey nailed a three-pointer with 30 seconds on the clock, but Lindsey drilled a three of his own just before time expired to give Good Hope a 53-41 lead going into the final frame.

A three-pointer from Ryan made it a 54-44 game early in the fourth quarter and JT White tacked on a three of his own to trim the lead to 54-47. Farr drove to the basket and laid one it to give the Raiders a 10-point lead with just over five minutes to play and Noah Barnette netted four straight free throws to make it a 61-48 game with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth. Yarbrough scored a tough basket inside the paint to cut the lead to 11 with two minutes on the clock and Ryan laid one in to make it 61-52. Martin drove to the rim and scored with 49 seconds to play to trim the lead to 61-54 but Malin scored in transition to make it a 9-point game with less than 30 seconds on the clock and ended any hopes of a dramatic comeback for Fairview. The Raiders went on to win it 64-54 and secure a spot in the semifinals.

Malin led Good Hope with 22 points in the win, followed by Lindsey with 15 and Farr with 12. Yarbrough posted 16 points for the Aggies in the loss. Ryan finished with 11 and Bailey added 10.

The Raiders will advance to face either West Point or Holly Pond Friday night at 6 p.m. at Tome Drake Coliseum.

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