JV COUNTY TOURNAMENT: Holly Pond downs Fairview 38-29 to claim county title

The Holly Pond Lady Broncos defeated Fairview 38-29 Saturday to claim this year’s JV Girls County Championship. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – We tipped off the first of our four county championship games at the Cullman County Tournament Saturday with the JV Girls title match between Holly Pond and Fairview and after toppling top-seeded Good Hope on Thursday, the Lady Broncos downed Fairview 38-29 to capture the county title.

The first period was a defensive one as both teams struggled to hit baskets. Peyton Defoor banked in a floater for Fairview’s first basket of the game, but Alyssia Mitchell knocked down a long-range shot to give Holly Pond an early 3-2 lead. Phoebe Jones put in a short jumper to make it a 5-2 game with a little over four minutes to go in the first period. Presli Carr drilled a pair of free throws to give the Lady Broncos a 7-2 lead and Holly Pond would end up taking a five-point lead into the second.

The Lady Broncos added onto their lead to start the second. Mitchell put in her second trey of the game on Holly Pond’s second possession of the quarter as the Lady Bronco lead was now 10-2. The Lady Aggies started to chip into the Holly Pond as Defoor collected a steal and ended up scoring on the other end to cut it to 10-4 with 4:25 to go in the first half. Stephanie Acklin drilled a trey to make it a 10-7 game, but Carr knocked down a jumper and Mitchell put in another three to push the Holly Pond lead to 15-7 with a little over a minute to go before halftime. The Lady Broncos would end up taking a 15-7 lead into the locker room.

Blakely Baggett split from the free throw line to make it 16-7 with a little over five minutes to go in the third, but a pair of baskets by Aynslie Holm and Jalia Eckleberry cut it to 16-11. Carr and Holm traded baskets to keep it at a five-point game at 18-13 with 2:30 remaining in the period. Carr put in a tough shot down low to push the Lady Bronco lead to 20-14. Holly Pond added onto their lead to end the quarter as free throws by Mitchell and Phoebe Jones gave them a 23-14 lead going into the final period.

Baggett put in two more from the line to stretch the Lady Bronco lead to 25-14 early in the fourth and a Mitchell three made it 28-14. Davi Stidham put in a shot in the paint and then, got a steal and collected a layup to cut it to 29-18 with less than four minutes to go in the contest. Defoor drilled a long-range shot for the Lady Aggies and later hit a layup off a Lady Bronco turnover to make it a 32-23 game with less than three minutes left in the game. A rebound and put-back by Holm cut it to 33-25, then a basket by Eckleberry made it a six-point game. The Lady Broncos would seal the game at the free-throw line as five free throws by Phoebe Jones helped Holly Pond win the game over Fairview 38-29 to take home the JV girls championship.

Mitchell finished with 14 points for Holly Pond. Phoebe Jones added 10 points and Carr collected nine points. For Fairview, Holm and Defoor each finished with nine points.

2023 JV Girls All-County Tournament Team

Blakely Baggett, Holly Pond

Davi Stidham, Fairview

Aynslie Holm, Fairview

Paizley Whitlow, Cold Springs

Phoebe Jones, Holly Pond

Arriana Rossie, Good Hope

Alyssia Mitchell, Holly Pond

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