- Cullman, Alabama

November 23, 2013

PREP BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Broncos, Saints pick up pair of Friday-night wins

Staff Reports
The Cullman Times

NEW HOPE — This year’s batch of Bronco boys are developing a reputation for insanely fast starts.

Holly Pond lit up the scoreboard for 36 points in the first quarter, junior Cody Jones had a coming out party with 21 points overall and the Green and White kept their record spotless with an 85-64 road win over area-rival New Hope Friday night.

The Broncos (3-0, 1-0 in area play) built a 36-13 lead following the first frame and held 52-33 and 75-54 advantages at the other quarter breaks.

There was a great deal of balance among Holly Pond’s top scorers. Colby Adams and Austin Smith joined Jones with 20 and 18 points, respectively.

The Green and White will now have a few days to rest before hosting Cullman Tuesday at home. They’ll likely need every bit of it, seeing as the Bearcats, much like the Broncos, bring a fast-paced style to the table on both sides of the court.

% Danville 61, Good Hope 50: Despite a near triple-double by Alex Cofer and a high-scoring showing from cousin Andrew Cofer, the Raiders fell on the road in Friday’s area contest.

Alex racked up 23 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks, while Andrew tickled the twine for 20 points.

Good Hope (1-2, 0-1) will look to snap its two-game skid Monday at Priceville.

% St. Bernard 46, Southeastern 39: Down 31-30 after leading most of the first three quarters Friday, the Saints kicked it into gear for the last stanza, outscoring the Mustangs 16-8 over the stretch to escape with the road victory.

“We were physically a little beat up, but we sucked it up,” said first-year St. Bernard coach Greg Boatright, whose team had played a hard-fought ballgame against Meek the night before.

John Gurtowski and Evan Aldridge paced the Saints with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Dean Smith and Jacob Gray were next in line with nine and eight points, followed by Gavin Harris and Matt Herring, who each tallied three.

% Meek 50, St. Bernard 42: The Saints flipped the script on their showdown with Southeastern, taking a 32-30 lead into the fourth quarter Thursday before being outscored 20-10 in the final eight minutes to come up just short in their area opener.

Gurtowski was good for 17 points, while Smith and Harris both rounded up nine. Aldridge scored five points, and Gray had two.

“We played hard. Just made a couple correctable mistakes in the fourth quarter that they capitalized on,” Boatright said. “As far as effort, though, I like the way these boys are working. They’re getting much, much better.”

Meek received a balanced output from Scott Irving (14 points), Phillip Hayes (11) and Jeremiah Banks (10).

St. Bernard (3-4, 0-1) will enjoy a lengthy break before picking back up against Addison, another area foe, Dec. 3 on the road.

Varsity Girls

% Holly Pond 71, New Hope 16:
Just like their male counterparts, the Lady Broncos (3-0, 1-0) used an explosive first quarter to put away the Indians in the blink of an eye.

Scott Adams’ squad jumped out to a 36-3 lead after only eight minutes on the heels of a 19-point, seven-steal outburst by Meg Gambrill. The junior point guard wrapped up the evening with 26 points and eight steals.

New Hope never threatened the rest of the night, trailing 44-6 at halftime and 66-12 heading into the final quarter.

Patched-up chin and all, Natasha Holcombe didn’t miss a step en route to a 15-point outing. The senior was forced to make an early exit in Tuesday’s win at West Point after hitting the floor hard due to rough incidental contact.

The comfortable cushion allowed Adams to use his entire bench. All but one Holly Pond player, including a number of girls brought up from the junior varsity roster, scored at least two points.

The Green and White’s other contributors were Melissa Clingman and Kaitlyn Stephens, six points apiece; Ruth Horton, five; Adair Gilliland, four; Kristen Sparks, three; and Rachel Finley, Taylor Rowell and Taylor Tankersley, two each.

% Danville 53, Good Hope 44 (2 OT): It didn’t result in a win, but coach Michael Oldacre had every reason to like the way his new-look Raiders operated in a tightly contested area contest Friday that needed an extra 10 minutes to decide.

The Red and White scratched back from an 18-8 first-quarter deficit to lead 24-23 at halftime. They went down 33-32 after three but responded in a low-scoring fourth frame to enter overtime tied 37-37.

Oldacre said Good Hope had its opportunities to win in regulation and near the end of the first extra period but ultimately fell just short in each instance.

“I think we’re growing as a team and definitely making steps in the right direction,” said the coach, whose squad is now 1-2 (0-1). “I don’t mind playing this tough schedule early because I think it’s going to make us better.”

Celeste Whisenant and Kacy Thomas popped off for 14 and 12 points, respectively. Katelyn Bishop notched eight points, Kayla Scott scored seven and Sierra Kinser had three.

Sydney Shelton led the Hawks with 27 points.

% St. Bernard 43, Southeastern 21: Zoie Wilson dropped in 21 points Friday to motor the Saints to their second victory by at least 22 points in as many nights.

St. Bernard cruised to a 24-4 advantage by halftime and led by a much-closer 30-20 score at the end of the third quarter before buckling down to put the Mustangs away.

Katherine Gamble and Michayla Brown pitched in seven points apiece for the Saints, who moved to 4-3 (1-0). Zana Wilson scored four points, while Anna Myers and Alli Messick each had two.

Junior Varsity Boys

% Fairview 46, Cold Springs 34:
Austin Fletcher piled on 15 points in the Aggies’ road victory Friday over the county-rival Eagles.

Other Purple and Gold scorers were Austin Harris, nine points; Caleb Chambers, seven; and Akil Parham and Brandon Akers, five apiece.

Fisher Willoughby’s 15 points and Cayde Elliott’s 13 were tops for Cold Springs.

% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.