PREP BASKETBALL: Bearcats down D.A.R. 66-59, Sharpe’s 32 leads Lady Bearcats to 60-21 win

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Ally Sharpe led all scorers with 32 points in Cullman’s 60-21 win over D.A.R. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. — Cullman was back at home at Bearcat Arena Friday night to host a pair of varsity matchups against D.A.R. and both the Bearcats and Lady Bearcats earned wins over the Patriots. The Lady Bearcats took the down D.A.R. 60-21 and the Bearcats fended off a late push from the Patriots to pick up a 66-59 win. Cullman’s win over D.A.R. was also the 100th career victory for ‘Cats Head Coach Stu Stuedeman and his 65th at Cullman.

Cullman 60 – D.A.R. 21 (varsity girls)

Ally Sharpe scored the first eight points of the game for the Lady Bearcats and gave them an 8-1 lead over D.A.R. midway through the opening period. Sharpe’s third three-pointer of the quarter made it an 11-1 game and Juliana Brannon scored a pair of baskets in the final two minutes of the period to put Cullman in front 15-7 going into the second quarter.

Sharpe’s hot first half shooting continued, and she scored the next five points for the Lady Bearcats to stretch the lead to 20-7. Mattie Smith laid one in to add to the lead later in the period and after splitting a pair of free throws, Molly Dorough scored inside to make it a 25-14 game with just over a minute remaining in the first half. As the final seconds of the quarter ticked away, Sharpe weaves through defenders and laid one in just before the buzzer to give Cullman a 27-15 advantage at the halftime break.

Kadence Hanback drilled a three to add to the Lady Bearcats’ lead and Rachel Hoffman scored in transition to put Cullman ahead 32-15. Sharpe scored through a foul and added the free throw to stretch the lead to 20 and Kentley White knocked down a corner three to make it a 38-15 game. Sharpe’s big night continued as she closed out the final minutes of the third with three more three-pointers to give the Lady Bearcats a commanding, 47-21 lead going into the final frame.

Hanback drained two more threes and Sharpe scored an easy basket in transition to put Cullman on top 55-21 early in the fourth. Hanback’s fourth trey of the night made it a 58-21 game and Sadie Graham knocked down a jumper to extend the lead to 60-21 with just over two minutes on the clock. Those were the final points of the night for the Lady Bearcats, and they went on to collect a convincing, 60-21 win over D.A.R.

Sharpe posted a game-high 32 points for Cullman in the win and Hanback finished with 12. Eight different Lady Bearcats scored at least two points in the win.

Cullman 66 – D.A.R. 59 (varsity boys)

Jake Dorough buried a three-pointer and Evans Wilson split a pair of free throws to give the ‘Cats an early, 4-2 lead over the Patriots and Preston Gay and Brodie Bannister each added threes of their own to keep Cullman in front 10-7 midway through the first. Wilson drained another free throw and Bannister scored inside to make it a 13-7 game with two minutes to play in the opening period. Kase Nixon laid one in to make it 15-7 and Sam Duskin converted two three-point plays at the free throw line in the final minute of the first quarter to put the Bearcats ahead 21-7 going into the second.

A couple of quick baskets by Wilson and Colton Echols stretched the lead to 25-9 at the start of the second quarter. Wilson netted two more free throws and Gay knocked down another three to make it a 30-13 game and Wilson converted an and-one play at the line to make it 33-18 later in the period. Echols added a pair of free throws and Duskin drilled a three in the final minute of the half to put the Bearcats in front 38-25 going into the locker room at the break.

Dorough drained a three and Wilson split a pair of free throws to keep Cullman ahead 42-25 early in the third quarter. Dorough hit his next four free throws to make it a 46-37 game later in the third, but Echols converted another and-one play and Nixon got a jumper to fall at the buzzer to give the ‘Cats a 51-42 lead going into the fourth.

Shots began falling for the Bearcats again once the fourth quarter got underway. Three-pointers by Dorough, Duskin, Bannister and Echols stretched the lead out to 20 early in the fourth. Duskin laid one in later in the period to keep Cullman in front 65-45 and Brooks Loftin split a pair of free throws to make it 66-48 with two minutes on the clock. Those were the final points of the night for the Bearcats, and they held on to defeat the Patriots 66-59.

Duskin led Cullman with 14 points in the win, followed by Dorough with 13, Echols with 11 and Wilson with 10.

Cullman will be on the road Saturday to take on Pell City.

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