HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Our nightcap at the Cullman County Tournament Thursday night was another varsity girls semifinal matchup. Cold Springs squared off against Fairview with a spot in the county title game on the line and after a slow start for both teams in the first half, the Lady Aggies rallied from a 10-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to three with just over a minute to play. However, a steal by Ella Bruer with 20 seconds on the clock helped secure a 49-45 win for the Lady Eagles and the 700th career victory for Cold Springs Head Coach Tammy West.
Points were hard to come by for both teams to start out the game. Cold Springs got on the scoreboard first on a pair of Ciara Calvert free throws. She would later put in a layup off a Fairview turnover to give Cold Springs a 4-0 lead with a little over five minutes to go in the opening quarter. Malaya Taylor hit a driving layup to give the Lady Eagles a 6-0 lead with 2:32 left in the first, but Emma Garcia put in a layup with a little over a minute left to cut it to 6-2. Garcia grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in to end the quarter as Cold Springs took a slim 6-4 lead into the second period.
Ella Dickerson knocked down a short jumper to start out the quarter for Cold Springs as that gave them an 8-4 lead. Jayla Gorham put in a pair from the line to cut it to 9-6, but another short jumper by Dickerson pushed Cold Springs’ lead to 13-6. Dickerson hit a pair of free throws to make it 15-6 almost midway through the second period, but the Lady Aggies cut it to 15-9 on a trey by Lexi Golden. Allison Davis knocked down a jumper to trim the deficit to five at 17-12, but a trey by Erin Bailey stretched the Cold Springs’ lead to 20-12. Darby Nichols and Maci Brown traded baskets to end the first half as Cold Springs would take a 22-14 lead into the locker room.
Nichols converted an and-one opportunity to cut it to 22-17 early in the third, but Ella Bruer would convert on one of her own on the other end to make it 25-17. Gorham cut it to 25-19 on a pair of free throws and a Golden trey made it a 27-22 game with a little over five minutes to go in the quarter. Brown put in a tough shot down low and Calvert nailed a long-range shot to stretch the Lady Eagle lead to 32-22. Garcia put in a short jumper to cut it to eight late in the third, but back-to-back layups by Calvert and one by Brown pushed Cold Springs’ lead to 38-26 with a little over a minute to go in the quarter and the Lady Eagles held a 38-28 lead after three.
Kenady Graves and Golden traded threes to start the fourth quarter to keep it at a 10-point game at 41-31. Baskets by Ava Thomas and Garcia made it a 43-37 contest early in the quarter. Later on, Thomas and Garcia each hit a shot in the paint to cut it to 45-41 with a little over two minutes to go in the game. Nichols knocked down a floater to make it a 48-45 game with 44 seconds left in the contest, but a steal and a free throw by Bruer helped seal the 49-45 win for Cold Springs as they will move on to the championship game on Saturday.
Calvert led the way for Cold Springs with 11 points. Brown added 10 points and Dickerson finished with nine points. For Fairview, Garcia finished with 14 points, while Nichols and Golden each added nine.
The Lady Eagles will now begin preparing for a county championship matchup against Good Hope Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
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