COUNTY TOURNAMENT: West Point pulls away from Fairview 58-23 to advance to County Championship Game

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West Point’s Ryleigh Jones (2) led the Lady Warriors with 23 points in their 58-23 win over Fairview Thursday night. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Thursday night’s Cullman County Tournament action wrapped up with a meeting between the West Point Lady Warriors and the Lady Aggies of Fairview with a spot in this year’s County Championship Game. Fairview fought hard in the first half and trailed by just 11 at the half but the Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Aggies 30-6 in the second half to win it 58-23 and advance to the varsity girls finals.

Summer Mendoza drilled a three for West Point to get things started but Emma Garcia responded with a basket on the other end to trim the lead to one. A pair of Mendoza free throws and a Fairview basket from Morgan Lindsay held the lead at one before Garcia scored again to put the Lady Aggies in front 6-5 early. A Ryleigh Jones basket put the Lady Warriors back up 7-6 and another score from Mendoza stretched the lead to 9-6. Garcia and Mendoza traded baskets on the next two possessions, but Jones knocked down a three just before the end of the first to give the Lady Warriors a 14-8 lead at the start of the second.

Baskets by Mendoza and Jayla Gorham traded buckets to make it a 16-10 game early in the second quarter, but Braelee Quinn nailed a three-pointer to extend the West Point lead to nine. A Hallie Wheeler basket made it 21-10 midway through the period and the Lady Warriors continued to create separation before Garcia scored five straight points later in the quarter to cut the lead to 25-17. However, Liberty Shadix was able drain a three of her own with 30 seconds on the clock and put West Point in front 28-17 at the halftime break.

A basket by Jones gave the Lady Warriors a 30-17 lead early in the third quarter but points were tough to come by after that. West Point maintained a 31-18 lead midway through the period but moved ahead 33-18 late in the quarter after another score from Jones. Jones added a pair of free throws around the two-minute mark to add to the lead and she drilled a three-pointer with a minute remaining in the third to make it a 38-18 game. A Fairview free throw trimmed the lead to 19 but at the start of the fourth quarter, the Lady Warriors led 38-19.

West Point was able to pull away in the final frame, extending its lead to 46-19 early in the fourth with another basket by Mendoza, a three from Quinn and an and-one play by Jones. Jumpers by Jones and Laklin Shadix made it a 50-19 game with just under four minutes remaining and with the hot clock running, the Lady Warriors cruised to a 58-23 win over the Lady Aggies.

Jones led West Point with 23 points in the win, followed by Mendoza with 14. Garcia posted 14 points for Fairview in the loss.

The Lady Warriors will face (1) Good Hope in the varsity girls County Championship Game Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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