HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Cold Springs and Good Hope met in Saturday night’s final championship matchup and their showdown was just as tight as the other title games that came before it. Neither squad could create much separation from the other and after 32 hard fought minutes, the Cold Springs Eagles finished just ahead of the Raiders 53-48 to capture their first county championship since 2014.
A Seth Williams three-pointer gave the Eagles and early, 3-1 advantage over the Raiders and Micah Calvert knocked down a trey to make it 6-1 around the five-minute mark of the first quarter. Another three from Calvert stretched the lead to 9-1 but Tanner Malin laid one in to cut the lead to six with three minutes to play. Lawton Farr came up with a steal and scored on the other end to make it a 9-5 game, but another Williams bucket put the Eagles ahead 11-5 with two minutes remaining in the first. Malin drilled back to back three-pointers to trim the Cold Springs lead to 13-11 with less than a minute to play in the first and the Raiders went into the second quarter trailing by just two.
Colton Lindsey knocked down a mid-range jumper to tie the game at 13 early in the second and he buried a three-pointer later in the period to give Good Hope a 16-13 lead. Malin and Williams traded baskets to make it a 19-15 game with just over three minutes to play in the opening half but a free throw by Kilgo made it a 3-point game. Charlie O’Neil knocked down a three from the right wing to extend the Raider lead to 22-16 with two minutes remaining in the second quarter but Kilgo netted a pair of shots from the free throw line to make it a 22-18 game. Kilgo scored inside to make it a 2-point game with just over a minute to play in the period and Brody Peppers drained a corner three just before the buzzer to give the Eagles a 23-22 advantage at the halftime break.
An Adam Hill basket put Cold Springs in front 25-22 at the start of the third quarter but Farr quickly answered with back to back three-pointers to give Good Hope a 28-25 lead. Peppers went up strong and scored to trim the lead to one, but Farr drilled his third straight three from the left corner to make it a 31-27 game. Malin scored off a turnover to stretch the lead to 33-27 midway through the period and added a free throw to make it 34-27. Hill finished an and-one play at the line to trim the lead to four with just over two minutes to play in the third but a free throw from Malin and two more foul shots from Noah Barnette made it a 37-30 game with a minute remaining in the period. Peppers scored inside to cut the lead to five but neither team was able to get on the board the rest of the way, making it a 37-32 game going into the fourth quarter.
Hill laid one in to trim the lead to 37-34 at the start of the fourth but a pair of Malin free throws build the lead back up to five for the Raiders. Hill knocked down a foul shot to make it 39-35 with just under six minutes remaining and Kilgo added another free throw to trim the lead to 39-36. Malin split a pair of free throws to give Good Hope a 4-point lead with just over four minutes to play but Williams drained a big three-pointer on the other end make it a 1-point game. Hill kept the run going with an inside basket that put Cold Springs in front 41-40 with three minutes to on the clock but Barnette tied things up with a free throw on the other end.
Hill knocked down another foul shot to give the Eagles a 42-41 lead and Kilgo laid one in to make it a 44-41 game with a little over two minutes remaining. Malin netted a foul shot to cut the lead to two but Kilgo hit one of his own to keep Cold Springs in front 45-42 with just over a minute to play. Calvert hit a pair of foul shots to stretch the lead to 47-42 and he drained two more with 45 seconds on the clock to make it a 49-42. Malin drained a deep three with less than 30 seconds to play to make it a 5-point game and after getting fouled on a three-point attempt, Malin netted all three from the line to make it a 50-48 game with 12 seconds on the clock. Peppers was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and he split the foul shots to make it a 3-point game. Williams then pulled down the offensive board on the missed free throw and drew a foul himself. Williams all but secured the win with the first free throw but he buried the second as well to give the Eagles a 53-48 win and their first county championship since 2014.
Williams led Cold Springs with 12 points in the win, followed by Kilgo, Hill and Calvert who each finished with 11 and Peppers who added eight. Good Hope was led by Malin with 24 points in the loss. Farr posted 11 and Lindsey and Barnette each finished with five.
2021 Joe Schultz Award Winner – Will Cochran, West Point
2021 Eli Thomas Award Winner – Lawton Farr, Good Hope
Varsity Boys Cullman County All-Tournament Team
Zach Campbell – Hanceville
Izayah Glenon – Hanceville
Will Cochran – West Point
Tanner Malin – Good Hope
Colton Lindsey – Good Hope
Micah Calvert – Cold Springs
Adam Hill – Cold Springs
Tanner Kilgo – Cold Springs
Brody Peppers – Cold Springs
Roberto Ayala – Cold Springs
Varsity Boys Cullman All-County Team
Micah Calvert, Cold Springs
Brody Peppers, Cold Springs
Adam Hill, Cold Springs
Tanner Malin, Good Hope
Lawton Farr, Good Hope
Noah Barnette, Good Hope
Aubry Cleghorn, West Point
Kobe Bowers, West Point
Will Cochran, West Point
Owen Yarbrough, Fairview
Izayah Glenon, Hanceville
Will Rhodes, Vinemont
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