PREP BASKETBALL: Cold Springs edges Falkville 63-53 in OT to claim 2A, Area 13 crown

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Cold Springs’ Lacey Rice takes a steal the other way during the Lady Eagles’ 63-53 OT win over Falkville Thursday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – After routing Winston County in the opening round of the 2A, Area 13 Tournament Monday night, the Lady Eagles were back on their home floor Thursday night to play for an area title. This time they faced the Lady Blue Devils of Falkville and after a tight, physical four quarters, they needed overtime to settle things. Cold Springs scored the first nine points of the extra period to finally pull away and claim a 63-53 win, an area championship and the right to host next week’s sub-regional round of the playoffs.

Cold Springs 63 – Falkville 53 (OT) (varsity girls)

Cold Springs got the game started with a steal from Toni West that turned into a three-pointer for Lacey Rice and made it 3-0. West knocked down a jumper on the next possession to make it 5-0 but things slowed down a bit on the offensive end after that. A floater by West put the Lady Eagles in front 8-4 midway through the opening quarter but after a pair of free throws from Rice made it a 10-5 game late in the period, Falkville drilled back to back three-pointers in the final minute of the first to tie the game at 11 going into the second.

West and Shay Sellers each scored for Cold Springs to start the second quarter and give the Lady Eagles a 15-13 lead and Brooke Crider added another layup extend the lead to 17-13. However, the Lady Blue Devils were able to respond and tie things up at 17 with around three minutes to play in the half. Madison Bruer laid one in to give Cold Springs a 2-point lead and West drained a three from the left wing to make it 22-17. A pair of Crider free throws put the Lady Eagles ahead 24-19 with less than a minute remaining in the half but Falkville managed to cut it to 24-21 going into the break.

Sellers and Bruer each scored early in the third to stretch the lead to 30-25 and another basket from Sellers made it 32-25. The Lady Blue Devils would not allow Cold Springs to create separation and were able to trim the lead to 32-31 with just under two minutes remaining in the period. Falkville scored off a turnover to take a 1-point lead, but Sellers answered with a jumper on the other end to retake a 34-33 lead for the Lady Eagles. West drove to the basket as time ran down in the third quarter and scored through a foul to make it a 3-point game. West sank the free throw and made it a 37-33 game going into the fourth.

The Lady Blue Devils scored to cut the lead to two at the start of the final period and scored another basket inside to tie the game at 37 but West drained a three to put Cold Springs back on top 40-37. A three from Falkville tied things back up at 40 but Crider laid one it to make it 42-40 with five minutes to play. A free throw from the Lady Blue Devils made it a 1-point game midway through the final frame and they banked one with just over three minutes remaining to take a 43-32 lead. Bruer scored inside to give Cold Springs a 44-43 advantage and West buried another three to extend the lead to 47-43 with just over two minutes to play. Falkville netted a pair of free throws to cut the lead to back down to two, but Crider knocked down one from the line on the other end to make it 48-45 with less than a minute on the clock. The Lady Blue Devils scored again to make it a 1-point game but West stepped up to the line and drained two more free throws to put the Lady Eagles up 50-47 with 30 seconds remaining. The next three-point attempt from Falkville was well-defended but it banked in off the glass and tied the game at 50 with 15 seconds on the clock. Cold Springs wasn’t able to score on the other end and the battle for the Area 13 title continued into overtime.

Crider drilled a corner three and West dropped in a floater to make it a 55-50 game early in the overtime period and Rice scored in transition to stretch the lead to seven. West took a steal the other way and scored to give the Lady Eagles a 59-50 lead with two minutes left to play but Falkville was able to trim the lead to 60-53 with just over a minute on the clock. West split a pair of free throws to make it a 61-53 game and after making a couple defensive stops in the final moments of OT, Cold Springs was able to hold on and defeat the Lady Blue Devils 63-53.

West led the Lady Eagles with 25 points in the win. Crider finished with 12, Sellers added 10, Bruer posted nine and Rice scored seven. Cold Springs will advance to host either Sulligent or Aliceville in the sub-regional round Monday night.

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