MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Good Hope downs Hanceville 35-21 to win county championship

The Good Hope Raiders defeated Hanceville 35-21 Saturday to win this year’s county tournament championship. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – Good Hope and Hanceville returned to Cold Springs High School Saturday to battle it out for this year’s county tournament championship and after a tight first half, the Raiders outscored the Bulldogs 22-11 in the second half to pull away and claim the county crown with a 35-21 win.

Baskets by Hanceville’s Brycen Harris and Good Hope’s Eli Drake got things started at 2-2 but a pair of three-pointers from Cooper Johnson and Drake gave the Raiders an early, 8-2 advantage. However, Lincoln Jones and Ethan Morrow each scored on the other end in the final minute of the first to trim the Good Hope lead to 8-6 going into the second.

Neither team was able to find much offensive success in the second quarter. Harris laid one in to tie the game at 8 and after Johnson split a pair of free throws on the other end, Deacon Brewer scored inside to give the Bulldogs a 10-9 lead with two minutes remaining in the first half. Tucker Screws and Ryker Hancock each hit a free throw to put the Raiders back in front 11-10 and Drake took a steal the other way for an easy bucket just before the end of the period to give Good Hope a 13-10 lead at the halftime break.

The Raiders found their rhythm early in the second half, stretching their lead to 20-10 on a pair of Johnson baskets and another three from Drake. Back to back buckets from Screws made it a 24-11 game later in the third and Chase Boles added another score to make it 26-11. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, Harris was able to score six straight points to end the third quarter and cut Good Hope’s lead down to 26-17 going into the fourth.

Screws answered Harris’ scoring run with six straight points of his own, extending the Raider lead to 32-17 with just over three minutes to play. Jones scored on the other end to stop the run, but Drake answered with his third three-pointer of the night to wrap up a 35-21, county championship win for Good Hope.

Drake led the Raiders with 13 points in the win, followed by Screws with 11 and Johnson with eight. Harris led the way for Hanceville with 13 points in the loss and Jones added four.

2023 All-County Team

Cooper Johnson, Good Hope

Eli Drake, Good Hope

Tucker Screws, Good Hope

Ryker Hancock, Good Hope

Webb Buchanan, Good Hope

Brycen Harris, Hanceville

Deacon Brewer, Hanceville

Lincoln Jones, Hanceville

Rush Lamar, West Point

Caden Pike, West Point

Francisco Diaz, Parkside

Lyric Smith, Parkside

Lindon Hill, Cold Springs

Eli Voce, Cold Springs

Cash Huddleston, Holly Pond

Landon Posey, Holly Pond

Max Jones, Vinemont

Colt Dean, Fairview

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