PREP BASKETBALL: West Point, Holly Pond earn wins at Christmas Tournament

West Point's Pressley Burtis finished with seven points in the Warriors' 55-48 win over Hatton Thursday night. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – This year’s West Point Christmas Tournament wrapped up at Jim Boyd Gymnasium Thursday night and both Holly Pond Broncos and West Point Warriors were able to wrap up their tournament appearances with wins. The Broncos pulled away to top Cold Springs 56-46 and the Warriors handled Hatton 55-48.

Holly Pond 56 – Cold Springs 46 (Game One)

Gunnar McBee drilled a three to put Holly Pond on the scoreboard first, but Cold Springs had a quick answer thanks to freshman Nic Fallin as he scored the team’s first eight points to give them an 8-3 lead with a little over three minutes to go in the first period. Kollin Brown knocked down a shot down low to make it an 8-5 game and later on, Sawyer Olinger drilled a three from the top of the key to cut it to 10-8. Baskets by Seth Ingram and Cameron Nunn would give the Eagles a 14-10 lead going into the second quarter.

Christian Couch and Brown each hit a basket to tie the game up at 14. John Mark Smith hit a three with 5:27 left to go in the first half as that gave Cold Springs a 17-14 lead, but Blake Rickard hit a basket and Brown knocked down a pair from the free-throw line to give the Broncos an 18-17 lead. Fallin and Smith each added a three to give Cold Springs the lead right back at 23-18. Fallin continued his red-hot shooting from long-range as he hit yet another three to push the Eagle lead to 26-20, but Rickard hit one from long-range to make it a 26-23 game at the half.

A McBee trey tied the game up at 26, then a steal and layup by Olinger gave Holly Pond a 28-26 lead. Carson Ryan hit a three and McBee added another layup to give them a 33-28 lead. Brown drilled one from long-range to push the Bronco lead to 36-29. A Nunn layup cut it to 36-31, but a basket each by Couch and McBee made it 40-31 late in the third period. Smith knocked down four free throws to make it a 40-35 game. Rickard hit a basket down low and later added a pair of free throws to increase the Bronco lead to 46-37, but Smith hit a huge three just before the buzzer to cut it to 46-40 going into the final period.

Smith hit a basket down low to make it a 46-43 game early in the fourth quarter, but Rickard and Diego Garcia each split from the free throw line to make it a 48-43 game. Huge baskets by Rickard, McBee, and Couch made it 54-43 and the Broncos ended up taking home the win over the Eagles, 56-46.

McBee and Rickard each finished with 14 points for Holly Pond (13-4), while Brown added 13 points. For Cold Springs (3-13), Fallin led the way with 19 points. Smith added 16 points, while Nunn ended up with six points.

West Point 55 – Hatton 48 (Game Two)

West Point got off to another strong start as Pressley Burtis and Ashton Rodgers each knocked down a shot to give them a quick 4-0 lead. Hatton got on the scoreboard to make it 4-2, but Jay Lamar scored the next five points to push the Warrior lead to 9-2. A pair of Kolten Perry free throws and another made shot by Rodgers made it 13-2. Later on, Rodgers scored in the paint and Lamar drilled a three from the right corner to make it a 18-7 lead for the Warriors going into the second period.

Another Lamar trey increased West Point’s lead to 21-9 early in the second quarter, but Hatton went on an 8-0 run to make it a 21-17 game with a little over two minutes to go in the first half. Rodgers and Perry each hit a pair of free throws to give the Warriors a 24-16 lead. A pair of late and-ones by the Hornets trimmed the deficit to just four at 27-23 going into the half.

A basket by Hatton made it a 27-25 game early in the third period, but Lamar knocked down a short jumper to push the Warrior lead to 29-25. Six straight points by the Hornets gave them a 31-29 lead, but Rodgers drilled a long-range shot to give West Point the lead right back at 32-31. Hatton went on a mini run to help give them a 37-34 lead late in the third period, but Rodgers hit a short jumper and Perry drilled a trey to tie the game up at 39. The Hornets drilled a three from the right corner just before the buzzer sounded to give them a 42-39 lead going into the final period.

Burtis hit a three, then he followed that up with a basket down low to give the Warriors a 44-43 lead. Rodgers hit another three to push West Point’s lead to 47-43 with 5:20 left to go in the game. A basket by the Hornets with less than three minutes to go in the contest cut it to two, but a huge and-one by Rodgers made it a 50-45 game. A Hornet trey made it a two-point game, but the Warriors finished things off at the free throw line as Lamar hit a pair of free throws and Perry added on as well and West Point ended up getting the win over the Hornets 55-48.

Rodgers and Lamar each finished with 19 points for West Point (7-11). Perry ended up with 10 points and Burtis finished with seven points.

West Point will travel to take on Holly Pond next Tuesday night and Cold Springs will head to Good Hope.

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