Cullman made certain the third time was the charm Tuesday night, heading out of town to avenge a pair of early losses to Class 4A No. 5 Butler with a too-fast, too-furious 84-74 triumph.
The Bearcats (7-5) blew late 13-point cushions in both previous battles with the Bulldogs but had no trouble putting the pedal to the metal and never letting off in the second half of the latest contest.
After trailing 13-12 and 38-37 at the first two quarter breaks, the Black and Gold exploded for 31 points in the third frame. Butler was only able to answer with 15 points during the eight-minute stretch, allowing Cullman to cruise to the win.
Seth Swalve and Lawson Schaffer stole the spotlight for the Bearcats with respective sky-high totals of 27 and 26 points. The former was good for 13 points in third quarter and 19 in the second half, while the latter collected half of his points in the second stanza.
Other Black and Gold contributors were Keaton Dean, 10 points; Lane Donaldson, six; Austin Beck, five; Lee Mattox and Auston Neal, four each; and Jason McAfee, two.
Cullman will test its 1-1 area record at heated-rival Hartselle Friday.
% Fairview 43, Good Hope 29: The Aggies found their rhythm — and the win column — for the second time in as many nights Tuesday at home versus the Raiders.
Elijah Garrison and Chance Hill contributed the bulk of the points with 11 and 10, respectively, in the Purple and Gold’s fourth victory of the season. Other Fairview scorers were Hunter Brewer, seven points; Ethan Widner, six; Tyler Yearwood, four; Sid Smith, three; and Devan Parker, two.
“We have to keep pushing ourselves to the limit every day,” first-year Aggie coach Kurt Knight said. “We have to be the best practice team possible to put us in a situation to be successful come tournament time.”
Tyler Vanderburg paced Good Hope with 10 points, while Andy Cofer chipped in nine. Eli Marty and Kainan Smith both added three points.
% Oakman 58, Cold Springs 51: The Eagles came out on top in the first meeting, but the Wildcats won the rematch between area rivals Tuesday night.
Cold Springs, which debuted as the eighth-ranked team in 2A of last week’s Alabama Sports Writers Association rankings, dropped to 8-5 overall and 1-1 against area foes.
Stats for the Eagles were unknown.
% Good Hope 42, Fairview 31: Five is fine, but six is sweeter.
Kacy Thomas (10 points) and Katelyn Bishop (nine) spearheaded yet another balanced effort on offense, and the Lady Raiders pulled away from their county rival in the fourth quarter Tuesday to notch a sixth consecutive victory.
Good Hope (9-4) jumped out to a 9-2 lead after the first frame, but the Aggies battled back to trail just 19-15 at halftime and 27-24 following the third quarter.However, the Raiders outscored Fairview 15-7 over the last eight minutes to seal the deal.
Good Hope’s other contributors were Kayla Scott, seven points; Sierra Kinser and Celeste Whisenant, six apiece; and Kaylee Maddox, four.
Fairview’s top scorers were Taylor Ann Yeager and Marlana Johnson, who both corraled seven points. Other Aggie contributors were Desiree Wilhite, six points; Lizzie Garrison, five; Ashley Latham, four; and Sarah Harper, two.
The Raiders will seek revenge against area-rival Danville Friday at home. The Purple and Gold will take a short trek to Holly Pond.
% Cullman 53, Butler 23: The Lady Bearcats have found themselves a new chew toy this season.
Ironically, it’s a team named the Bulldogs.
Almost a month to the day after delivering a 53-7 whipping at home, Baylee Johnson and the Black and Gold (7-5, 1-1 in area) took to the road Tuesday for another beatdown of Butler.
Johnson paved the way to the win with a spectacular stat-line of 18 points, five assists, four steals and a block.
An astounding nine other Cullman players pitched in at least two points, starting with Hayden Short and Oakleigh White, who each had six. Kaitlyn Brannon was next in line with five points, followed by Laura Lindsey and Madison Lee, four apiece; Anna Evans, three; and Christina Skinner, Madison Cobbs and Carrie Evans, all two.
Skinner also swiped a team-high three steals.
“It was a great team effort with contributions from all in the intangibles — tipped passes, great rotation on defense and ball movement,” Bearcat coach Jonathan Hayes said.
% Hanceville 53, Curry 42: The Lady Bulldogs kept their bounceback season rolling in style with yet another win Tuesday night.
Stats for Hanceville, which won its fourth game, were unknown.
Junior Varsity Boys
% Fairview 49, Good Hope 29: Austin Fletcher tickled the twine for 16 points, and Akil Parham tacked on 10 in the Aggies’ latest win.
Other Purple and Gold contributors were Austin Harris, six points; Dylan Smith, five; Kyle Knop and Caleb Chambers, four each; and Austin Scott and Blake Denson, two apiece.
The Raiders received 10 points from Eric Murphree, nine from Noah Tillman, eight from Jared McClure and two from Lee Whisenant.
% Fairview 40, Oneonta 30: Austin Fletcher and Kyle Knop had matching 14-point performances to lift the Aggies to the victory Monday.
Austin Harris scored five points, and Seth Lancaster had three in the winning effort.
% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.