COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Good Hope knocks off Fairview 60-51 to advance to County Championship Game

Good Hope’s Tanner Malin led the Raiders with 20 points in their 60-51 win over Fairview Friday night. (Katie Drummond/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The first of Friday night’s varsity boys’ semifinal matchups at the Cullman County Tournament was a fast-paced and competitive clash between the Good Hope Raiders and the top-seeded Fairview Aggies. In the end, the Raiders were able to create some separation in the second half and pulled away to top the Aggies 60-51, earning themselves a spot in Saturday’s County Championship Game.

The Aggies got the scoring started on their first possession with a three-pointer by Cylas Yarbrough but baskets by Colton Lindsey and Tanner Malin put Good Hope in front 4-3 early in the first quarter. A pair of Parker Martin buckets allowed Fairview to retake a 9-4 lead midway through the period. Back to back scores by Lindsey cut the lead to one later in the quarter and after another Yarbrough basket made it an 11-8 game, Tyler Cone drilled a three just before the buzzer to tie things up at 11 going into the second.

Kobe Payne traded three-pointers with Malin to keep the game tied at 14 early in the second quarter. Good Hope’s shooters continued to heat up, and three-pointers from Lindsey, Cone and Tucker Malin put the Raiders in front 25-15. Jacob Haynes drove to the basket and scored to make it a 27-18 game with two minutes remaining in the first half, but Landon Tweedie was able to knock down a three on the other end to trim the lead down to six. However, Good Hope finished the half strong when Tucker Malin split a pair of free throws and Haynes scored on back to back possessions to extend the lead to 32-21 at the halftime break.

Johnson scored a quick basket for Fairview to start the third quarter, but Malin responded in a big way, scoring the next eight points of the game to help the Raiders pull ahead 40-23. Ethan Frazier scored on back to back possessions later in the period to make it a 40-29 game and the Aggies were able to trim the lead seven with just under two minutes to play in the third. That’s when Malin began to take over again, scoring the next five points for Good Hope and extending the lead to 45-35 going into the final frame.

A three-pointer from Tweedie cut the lead to 46-38 early in the fourth quarter but the Raiders got those points back when Tucker Malin drilled a three of his own on the other end. Frazier netted a pair of free throws to make it a 49-40 game with just under four minutes to play but a basket and a pair of free throws from K’mal Bell gave Good Hope a 13-point lead with around two minutes left in the game. Another Frazier basket and a three-pointer from Tweedie trimmed the lead to 53-45. However, the Raiders were able to maintain a 55-49 lead with less than a minute on the clock and they held on to defeat Fairview 60-51 and advance to this year’s County Championship Game.

Malin led the Raiders with 20 points in their win over the Aggies, followed by Lindsey with 14. Fraizer led the way for Fairview with 11 points in the loss. Tweedie added 10 and Yarbrough finished with eight.

Good Hope will be at Tom Drake Coliseum Saturday at 7 p.m. to play either Hanceville or Cold Springs for this year’s County Championship.

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