CULLMAN, Ala. – After advancing with a 74-22 win over Moody Tuesday night, the Bearcats were back on the floor at Bearcat Arena to face Springville in Wednesday night’s Mike Dean Turkey Shootout Championship Game. The ‘Cats got off to a slow start in the first half but began to create some separation in the third quarter on their way to a 56-41 win.
A three-pointer by Sam Duskin and a basket from Nate Zills put Cullman in front 5-3 early in the opening period and Duskin converted an and-one play at the line to stretch the lead to 8-3. A quick bucket and a three from Jake Dorough made it a 13-5 game late in the first and the Bearcats went into the second leading 15-9.
Colton Echols and Dorough scored early in the second quarter to make it a 19-9 game and after the Tigers cut the lead to 19-12, Dorough laid another one in to keep the ‘Cats in front 21-12. Duskin scored inside and Garrison Sharpe drained a three with 10 seconds on the clock to make it a 26-16 game at the halftime break.
Cullman came out hot in the third quarter, adding to its lead with a three-pointer from Duskin and a pair of baskets by Zills. Dorough knocked down another trey to give the Bearcats a 36-18 lead midway through the third and Kase Nixon and Evan Wilson each added a pair of free throws to make it 40-18 later in the period. Following a Wilson bucket, Echols netted a pair of free throws with just one second remaining in the third to put Cullman on top 44-22 with just eight minutes left to play.
Echols and Nixon each drilled three-pointers early in the fourth to keep the ‘Cats in front 50-28 and Dorough drained a pair from the line to make it 52-32 with about four minutes remaining. Duskin buried another three in the final two minutes to give Cullman a 55-36 lead and the Bearcats held on to win the inaugural Mike Dean Turkey Shootout with a 56-41 win.
Duskin and Dorough each posted 14 points for the Bearcats in the win. Echols finished with nine, Zills added six and Nixon scored five. Echols, Sharpe, Zills, Duskin and Nixon each All-Tournament honors and Echols was selected as the Tournament MVP.
The ‘Cats will be back on the road to take on Paul W. Bryant Monday after the Thanksgiving break.
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