PREP BASKETBALL: Vinemont tops Elkmont 64-61, Hanceville falls to East Lawrence 41-35

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Vinemont's Carley Stephens finished with 10 points in the Lady Eagles' 64-61 win over Elkmont. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – The first of this year’s varsity basketball action got started at Vinemont High School Thursday night with this year’s Vinemont Tip-Off Classic and both the Lady Eagles and the Hanceville Lady Bulldogs were there competing. The Lady Bulldogs dropped a close game to East Lawrence 41-35 and Vinemont held on to win its game over the Lady Red Devils 64-61.

East Lawrence 41 – Hanceville 35

East Lawrence scored the first five points of the game to grab an early 5-0 lead. A three-point play by Kate Sterling got Hanceville on the board as that made it 5-3 with 4:53 remaining in the first period. Aaliyah Twitty knocked down a shot down low, then Katelyn Boyd hit a free throw to give the Lady Bulldogs a 6-5 lead with less than three minutes to go in the quarter. The Lady Eagles knocked down back-to-back shots down low as they took a 9-6 lead, but Sterling drilled a short jumper to cut it to 9-8 as Hanceville went into the second quarter trailing by one.

Savana McAnnally hit a short jumper to start the second period, then Jessica Marshall drilled a three from the left wing as that gave Hanceville a 13-11 lead. But East Lawrence went on a 7-0 run to take an 18-13 lead with less than two minutes to go in the first half. Twitty hit another shot down low, then another three-point point play by Sterling tied the game up at 18 with a little over a minute to go in the first half. A late basket by the Lady Eagles gave them a 20-19 lead as the Lady Bulldogs trailed by just one going into the half.

The start of the second half was all East Lawrence as they scored the first eight points of the third period to make it a 28-19 game. A rebound and put-back by Sterling made it 28-21, then a Boyd trey cut it to 28-24. A basket down low by the Lady Eagles made it 30-24 and they later added a free throw as the Lady Bulldogs would go into the final period trailing, 31-24.

East Lawrence quickly pushed their lead to 37-26 to start out the final period, but the Lady Bulldogs went on a little run to make things interesting. McAnnally hit a short jumper, then Twitty banked in a three from the top of the key to cut it to 37-31 with 3:27 remaining in the contest. East Lawrence added a couple of baskets late and Hanceville ended up falling just short in the end, 41-35.

Twitty finished with 13 points for Hanceville. Sterling added 10 and McAnnally ended up with six.

Hanceville will take on Elkmont on Friday at 5 p.m.

Vinemont 64 – Elkmont 61

Vinemont got off to a very fast start as Whitney Quick hit a layup less than 15 seconds into the game. Reagan Robinson later hit a short jumper to make it 4-0, then Quick scored the next six Lady Eagle points, the last basket coming off an Elkmont turnover, as the Lady Eagles pushed their lead to 10-2 with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter. Caroline Miller hit a shot down low to make it 12-2. Carley Stephens added another shot down low as that gave Vinemont a 14-4 lead, but the three-point shot got the Lady Red Devils back in the game as they drilled a trio of shots from deep to cut it to 16-14. Robinson hit a free throw, then Raylee Quick hit a layup as the Lady Eagles went into the second quarter up, 19-14.

Four free throws by Elkmont cut it to 21-20 with 5:28 remaining in the first half. A Morgan Flanagan basket made it 23-20, but the Lady Red Devils drilled a three to tie it up at 23. A three by Robinson, plus a basket down low by Stephens, helped the Lady Eagles grab a 29-25 lead. Another Stephens basket down low saw Vinemont holding on to a 31-28 lead, then later on, Stephens converted on an and-one opportunity and Maggie Burks knocked down a pair of free throws to end the first half. Vinemont would take a 36-30 lead into the locker room.

A quick three by Whitney Quick, plus a Robinson free throw, increased the Lady Eagle lead to 40-30 early in the third period. Once again, the Lady Red Devils got red-hot from behind the three-point line as three more treys tied the game up at 40. Burks scored the next five points, including the old-fashioned three points, as that gave Vinemont a 45-40 lead. A Miller trey kept the Lady Eagle lead at five at 48-43. Elkmont went 4/4 from the free-throw line to end the third period as the Lady Eagles would take a 50-47 lead into the final quarter.

Another Elkmont trey cut it to 52-50 to start out the final period, then later on, two more Lady Red Devil free throws tied the game up at 53. Burks knocked down a trey to give Vinemont a 56-53 lead, then Raylee Quick added a free throw to make it 57-53. A basket down low by Miller and a pair of Robinson free throws pushed the Lady Eagle lead to 61-55 with 2:26 remaining in the contest. A pair of Whitney Quick free throws kept the Vinemont lead at six at 63-57, but a pair of Elkmont baskets trimmed the deficit to just three at 64-61 with 15 seconds remaining in the game. A last second heave by the Lady Red Devils fell short and the Lady Eagles held on to defeat Elkmont, 64-61.

Whitney Quick led the way for Vinemont with 16 points. Burks added 12 points. Robinson ended up with 11 points and Stephens added 10 points.

The Lady Eagles will take on East Lawrence on Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

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