GOOD HOPE, Ala. – After a week of winter weather and shifting schedules, the Good Hope Raiders were finally able to host their sub-regional matchup against Hamilton Friday night. Unfortunately for the home crowd, Good Hope wasn’t able to overcome the early lead built by the Aggies and the Raiders’ season came to a close with a 71-50 loss in the sub-regional round.
After the Aggies started the game with a three-pointer, Lawton Farr responded with a basket on the other end to make it a 3-2 game. Two quick Hamilton baskets put the Raiders behind 7-2 but Michael Owens laid one in to cut the lead to 7-4 with six minutes to play in the first. The Aggies built a 13-4 lead midway through the opening quarter, but K’mal Bell stopped the run with a corner three that made it 13-7. Tanner Malin scored a quick transition basket to trim the lead to four but a 6-0 run by the Aggies gave them a 19-9 lead late in the first. Noah Barnette scored inside to make it an 8-point game with two minutes to play in the period and Owens finished an and-one play at the line to cut the lead to 21-14 with 30 seconds on the clock. Hamilton was able to get one more bucket on the other end before the first quarter expired and Good Hope went into the second trailing 23-14.
The Aggies were able to pull ahead 29-14 early in the second quarter and despite getting some good looks at the rim, the Raiders weren’t able to get any shots to fall. The scoring drought for Good Hope finally ended when Malin laid one in off a steal to cut the lead to 35-16 with just over two remaining in the first half. Colton Lindsey split a pair of free throws to make it 35-17 but Hamilton was able to add a couple more baskets in the final minute of the period and take a 39-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Malin took a steal the other way for an easy basket that made it a 39-19 game early in the third quarter and he drove through the lane for another layup around the five-minute mark to trim the lead to 39-21. Barnette scored to make it 39-23 midway through the third and Farr laid one in to hold the lead to 41-25. Another Barnette layup cut the lead to 41-27 with two minutes to play in the third and Malin finished an and-one play at the line to make it 45-30 with 30 seconds remaining in the period. However, the Aggies were able tip one in just before the buzzer and take a 47-30 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Farr drained a three-pointer to start the fourth and trim the lead to 14 and he knocked down another one with just over six minutes to play to hold the lead to 50-36. Malin scored at the rim to make it a 52-38 game and he and Barnette each added another bucket to cut the lead to 55-42 with just over four minutes remaining. Malin continued to score and prevent Hamilton from pulling away but the Aggies were able to match buckets with the Raiders throughout most of the final frame. Another bucket from Barnette made it a 59-48 game with just under three minutes to play and Farr scored inside to make it a 9-point game. Unfortunately, that’s as close as Good Hope would get as Hamilton scored a couple easy baskets off turnovers and made most of their shots from the free throw line to pull away and defeat Good Hope 71-50
Malin led the way for the Raiders with 17 points in the loss. Farr and Barnette each finished with 12 and Owens posted five. Good Hope finishes the season 23-8 and with an area championship.
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