PREP BASKETBALL: Warriors, Raiders compete in summer play day at Good Hope

West Point’s Ashton Rodgers (2) brings the ball up the floor during the Warriors’ game against Hazel Green Thursday. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – West Point and Good Hope’s varsity teams tipped off action at Thursday’s summer play day at Good Hope High School. The Raiders dropped a pair of games to Hazel Green and Priceville while the Warriors split their matchups with Winston County and the Trojans.

Hazel Green 62 – Good Hope 47 (Varsity Boys)

Baskets by Noah Barnette and Charlie O’Neil gave Good an early 4-3 lead, but Hazel Green scored the next five points to take an 8-4 lead. Barnette scored on back-to-back baskets down low to tie the game up at eight with less than 15 minutes to go in the first half. The Trojans, though, broke a 10-all tie with back-to-back treys.

Good Hope’s Tyler Cone hit one of his own from deep to make it a 16-13 game with a little more than 12 minutes to go in the half. Later on, back-to-back threes by Weston Hancock and Tucker Malin gave the Raiders a 19-18 lead. Hazel Green scored five in a row to get the lead right back at 23-19, but Cone drilled another three to make it a one-point game. The Trojans went on an 11-2 run to close out the first half and Good Hope went into the half trailing, 34-24.

The Raiders started out the second half strong on both sides as they went on a 9-0 run to make it a 34-33 game. But Hazel Green scored seven in a row to push their lead to eight. A Tanner Malin layup made it a 41-35 game with less than 13 minutes to go in the game, but a 10-2 Trojan run pushed the Raider deficit to 14 at 51-37. Good Hope couldn’t cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way as the Raiders ended up dropping their first game of the game, 62-47.

Tanner Malin finished with 11 points for Good Hope. Tucker Malin and Barnette each added 10 points. Cone ended up with six. O’Neil finished with four points, while K’mal Bell and Hancock each chipped in with three points.

West Point 60 – Winston County 42 (Varsity Boys)

West Point got on the scoreboard first on a Kolton Perry three. Winston County nailed back-to-back shots from deep to grab a 6-3 lead early on in the first half. Jayden Laney hit a free throw, Ashton Rodgers hit a layup, and Samuel Wheeler drilled a three to give the Warriors a 10-6 lead almost midway through the first half. Each team traded leads for the next few possessions, then a Kanen Trussell layup, followed by a Rodgers three-point play, gave West Point an 18-14 lead. Laney then scored five straight points to push the Warrior lead to 23-17 and they would go into the half leading, 27-24.

Cade Simmons picked a perfect time to get hot as he scored the first seven West Point points of the second half as that increased the lead to 10 at 34-24. But the Yellow Jackets drilled back-to-back shots from deep to make it a 34-30 game, then a Rodgers layup, followed by a J.D. Cochran trey, pushed the West Point lead to nine at 39-30. Rodgers then scored seven straight points as that increased the Warrior lead to 46-33; they later made it 51-38 on a Wheeler trey and a Simmons layup. West Point kept a double-digit lead the rest of the way as they rolled past Winston County, 60-42.

Rodgers finished with a game-high 19 points for the Warriors. Trussell added 11 points, while Simmons ended up with nine points. 

Priceville 55 – Good Hope 49 (Varsity Boys)

Good Hope faced off against Priceville in their second game of the day and Tanner Malin scored the Raiders’ first seven points of the contest to give them an early 7-6 lead. Each team traded ties and leads for most of the first half as neither team had a lead bigger than three. A Bulldogs’ three gave them a 19-16 lead with less than eight minutes to go in the first half, but Tucker and Tanner Malin gave Good Hope a 21-19 lead with less than six minutes to go in the half. Priceville held a 26-21 advantage, but Bell hit a three to make it a two-point game. A free throw tied the game at 26, but the Bulldogs hit a layup to end the first half as the Raiders found themselves down 28-26 at the half.

The second half started out the same way as the first one. Good Hope’s Canaan Jones knocked down a shot to tie the game up at 30 with less than 17 minutes to go in the contest,  but Priceville scored five straight points to give them a 35-30 lead and later stretched its lead to 42-35. Weston Hancock knocked down a layup to make it a five-point game, but the Bulldogs pushed the Raider deficit back up to seven. Tanner Malin erased the deficit by himself as he scored the next seven points to tie the game up at 44. 

Priceville, though, had an answer as they scored six in a row to take a 50-44 lead and Good Hope couldn’t get any closer than four the rest of the way as the Raiders ended up falling to the Bulldogs, 55-49.

Tanner Malin led the way for Good Hope with 25 points. Bell added six points, while Tucker Malin ended up with five points. 

Hazel Green 56 – West Point 27 (Varsity Boys)

West Point took on Hazel Green in its second game of the day, and the Trojans jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. Wheeler drilled a three for West Point’s first basket of the game almost 3 1/2 minutes into the game. Hazel Green’s defense gave the Warriors fits for the whole first half and they held a 20-point plus lead for the last part of the half. West Point was held to just four baskets in 20 minutes as they went into the half trailing, 35-9.

Simmons drilled a three for the Warriors as they hoped it would be the start of a huge run, but it wasn’t meant to be as the Trojans quickly pushed their lead up to 30 at one point. West Point kept battling until the very end but were on the wrong side of a 56-27 rout at the hands of Hazel Green.

Wheeler and Ethan Gammon each finished with seven points for West Point. Rodgers added four points. Simmons finished with three points. Cochran, Perry and Trussell each chipped in with two points.

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