JV COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Lady Broncos hold off West Point 42-29 to advance

Holly Pond’s Abbey Jones takes a steal the other way for a score during the Lady Broncos’ 42-29 win over West Point Saturday. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – This year’s Cullman County Basketball Tournament officially tipped off at Tom Drake Coliseum Saturday afternoon and we got things started with the opening round of the JV Girls Brackets. (4) Holly Pond faced off against (5) West Point and after taking an imposing, 23-1 lead in the first half, the Lady Broncos had to hold off a furious comeback effort from the Lady Warriors in the third quarter to pull away and advance with a 42-29 win.

Baskets by Blakely Baggett and Alyssia Mitchell gave the Lady Broncos an early, 4-0 lead over West Point. Kealie Harbison split a pair of free throws to get the Lady Warriors on the board and make it a 4-1 game but unfortunately for the West Point crowd, it was the only point they recorded in the first half. Baggett knocked down another jumper and Mitchell drained a three to help put Holly Pond in front 10-1 going into the second quarter.

The Lady Broncos continued to add to their lead. Buckets from Abbey Jones and Baggett made it a 14-1 game early in the second and after Phoebe Jones sank a pair of free throws, Abbey Jones buried another three-pointer to stretch the lead to 19-1. Mitchell took a steal the other way for an easy basket and Phoebe Jones laid one in with 30 seconds on the clock to give Holly Pond a commanding, 23-1 advantage at halftime.

Presli Carr pulled down an offensive rebound and scored to make it a 25-1 game at the start of the third quarter but a free throw from Katie Beth Yovino finally ended the scoring drought for West Point and trimmed the lead to 25-2. Abbey Jones split a pair of free throws to get the point back but the Lady Warriors weren’t done chipping away. McKenzie Nix scored inside to make it 26-4 and Yovino drilled a three to cut the lead to 26-7. Yovino had the hot hand for West Point and she scored the next five points for the Lady Warriors to bring the lead down to 26-12 with two minutes remaining in the third. Nix netted a pair of free throws to make it 26-14 and with just over a minute to play in the period, Harbison knocked down a three from the left wing to cut the lead to 26-17 going into the fourth. West Point outscored Holly Pond 16-3 in the third quarter.

The Lady Warriors kept chipping away to start the final frame when Nix drained a three-pointer to make it a 26-20 game, but West Point wasn’t able to come any closer than that the rest of the way. A pair of scores from Baggett helped the Lady Broncos move back in front 31-20 with five minutes to play and Mitchell sank four straight from the free throw line to make it 35-22. Libby Stallings and Nix exchanged baskets to make it a 37-24 game with three minutes on the clock and Holly Pond added a few more points at the free throw line to pull away with a 42-29 win over the Lady Warriors.

Mitchell led the way for the Lady Broncos with 12 points in the win. Abbey Jones added 11, Baggett finished with 10 and Stallings posted seven. Nix led West Point with nine points in the loss, followed by Yovino with nine and Harbison with seven.

Holly Pond will take on the top-seeded Good Hope Lady Raiders in the JV Girls semifinals Thursday at 5 p.m.

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