GOOD HOPE, Ala. – After splitting their first two meetings in the regular season, Good Hope and Oneonta clashed once again Friday night but this time, the 4A, Area 11 championship was on the line. The road team has won each of this season’s first two matchups, but that trend ended tonight as the Raiders found ways to come up with baskets and stops at key moments to edge out the Redskins 50-48 and capture this year’s 4A, Area 11 title.
The Redskins scored the game’s opening basket to take an early, 2-0 lead and added another shot to make it 4-0 before Tanner Malin laid one in to get the Raiders on the board and make it 4-2. Oneonta continued to score inside and extended its lead to 6-2 midway through the first but a free throw from Lawton Farr cut the lead to three and Colton Lindsey drilled a trey from the right corner to tie the game at 6. The Redskins answered with five straight points to pull ahead 11-6 with just over a minute remaining in the opening period. Neither team was able to get a shot to fall in the final minute of the quarter and Good Hope went into the second trailing by five.
The Raiders were able to create good shot opportunities early in the second but just couldn’t get any of them to fall and Oneonta was able to pull ahead 14-6. A Charlie O’Neil bucket finally ended the scoring drought for Good Hope and trimmed the lead to six before Farr drained a corner three to make it a 14-11 game midway through the period. The Redskins took a 16-11 lead with just over three minutes to play in the half, but K’mal Bell knocked down a three with less than a minute remaining in the second to cut it to 16-14. The Raiders then finished the half strong when Michael Owens took a steal coast to coast and laid it in just before the buzzer to tie things up at 16 going into the break.
Lindsey scored inside to give Good Hope an 18-16 lead at the start of the third quarter, but the Redskins answered with a three-pointer to retake a 1-point lead. Another Owens bucket gave the Raiders a 22-21 lead with around five minutes remaining in the period and Malin drove to the basket and scored to extend the lead to 24-21 midway through the third. A couple of defensive stops, highlighted by a big block from Noah Barnette, kept Good Hope in front by three and another Malin basket made it a 26-21 game with just over two minutes to play in the quarter. Malin then drove back to the basket and laid in another one to stretch the lead to seven on the next possession and the junior point guard stayed hot, draining a three from the top of the key to make it 31-24. Oneonta was able to trim the lead to 31-27 with less than a minute on the clock and after Malin scored yet another acrobatic basket to build the lead back up to six, the Redskins scored the last bucket of the period to make it a 33-29 game going into the final frame.
Oneonta scored on its first three possessions of the fourth to take a 35-33 lead, but Lindsey was able to tie things up at 35 with a pair of free throws. Barnette split a pair of free throws to give the Raiders a 1-point lead and Lindsey pulled down an offensive board and scored to stretch the lead to 38-35 with five minutes to play. Good Hope continued to do damage at the line as Farr added a pair of foul shots to make it a 4-point game, but the Redskins scored on the other end to make it 40-30.
Barnette laid one in to put the Raiders up by four with four minutes on the clock and Farr scored at the rim to keep Good Hope in front 44-40 near the three-minute mark. Malin nailed a mid-range jumper to make it a 6-point game with two minutes remaining but a trip to the free throw line and a transition basket allowed Oneonta to trim the lead to 46-43. Malin then scored his own easy layup in transition to build the lead back up to 48-43 with just over a minute to play but the Redskins drained a three on their next possession to make it a 2-point game. Malin continued to respond, dropping in a floater to stretch the lead to four with 45 seconds on the clock. Oneonta would not allow the Raiders to pull away and scored another basket in the paint to make it a 50-48 game with nine seconds remaining. The Redskins forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass and got one last chance to tie or win the game, but the game-winning three-point attempt bounced off the front of the rim and Good Hope survived the 50-48 thriller to win this year’s 4A, Area 11 Tournament.
Malin led the Raiders with 19 points in the win. Lindsey added nine, Farr posted eight, Owens scored six, Bell and Barnette each tacked on three and O’Neil added two. Good Hope will be back home Tuesday night to host either Hamilton or Haleyville for a sub-regional matchup.
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