HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The first varsity matchup of Thursday night’s Cullman County Tournament action saw the top-seeded Good Hope Lady Raiders face off against the Lady Broncos of Holly Pond. The Lady Broncos gave a strong effort early but ultimately couldn’t keep pace with Good Hope and the Lady Raiders punched their ticket to this year’s County Championship Game. Good Hope knocked down 15 three-pointers in a 73-31 win, tying the school record.
Kaylee Stallings and Kyndall Seal traded three-pointers to keep things tied up early but a jumper by Ivey Maddox and another three from Heather Tetro gave the Lady Raiders an 8-5 lead. Rudi Derrick sank a pair of free throws and Maddox drilled a three to stretch the lead to 13-5 midway through the first. Maddi Ham drained a three for Holly Pond to stop the run and make it a 13-8 game, but Heather Tetro responded with two more treys of her own and helped Good Hope extend its lead to 21-9 late in the first. Seal added one more three-pointer before the end of the period and the Lady Raiders went into the second quarter with a 24-9 advantage.
Baskets by Maddox and Charly Johnson added to Good Hope’s lead early in the second and the Lady Raiders continued their three-point shooting display with two more triples from Maddox and Rudi Derrick. Raeleigh Olinger scored through a foul and tacked on the free throw to cut the lead to 34-14 but Derrick responded immediately with a corner three on the other end to make it a 37-14 game with three minutes to play in the opening half. Emilie Widner drove the baseline and scored to trim the lead to 37-16 but a pair of baskets from Renee McLeod in the final two minutes of the period put Good Hope in front 41-17 at the halftime break.
Olinger started the second half with a basket for the Lady Broncos, but the Lady Raiders responded with three-pointers from Tetro, Maddox and Derrick to extend the lead to 50-19 early in the third. Olinger and Johnson traded baskets to make it a 54-21 game midway through the third and McLeod posted two more buckets toward the end of the period to help build a 62-23 Good Hope lead going into the final frame.
Desire Odachowski and Johnson each hit three-pointers at the start of the fourth to add to the lead and Lexi Collins knocked down a three of her own to put the Lady Raiders in front 71-27 midway through the period. Stallings drilled another three for Holly Pond to add to her total but with the hot clock running, Good Hope was able to pull away and win it 73-31 and secure a spot in the County Finals.
Maddox led the Lady Raiders with 17 points in the win, followed by Derrick with 15 and Heather Tetro with 12. Stallings led Holly Pond with 11 points in the loss and Olinger posted 10.
Good Hope will face either West Point or Fairview in the varsity girls’ County Championship Game Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
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