By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
Fans of Friday night’s area and county matchup between Vinemont and Good Hope are in luck — they’ll get to see it again in just a little more than a week.
But before the two go toe-to-toe in the play-in game of the county tournament at Wallace State, the Eagles and Raiders had a regular-season contest to take care of Friday at Vinemont High.
The Eagles wound up heading home happy with a hard-earned 60-50 victory, but Good Hope made them work for every bit of it.
Riley Foust started the fourth quarter with a putback to give Vinemont a 46-32 lead before Alex and Andrew Cofer combined on a 10-0 run to close the deficit to only four.
That was as close as the Raiders would get, however, as Duncan Hopper and Logan Wallace picked apart the Good Hope press with smart passes, allowing Riley Foust to come up with clutch 2- and 3-point shots. Eagle big man Garrett Sipe worked his magic inside for a basket on the ensuing possession to extend his team’s advantage back to 11.
“Riley has a really good shot,” Vinemont coach Todd Johnson said of Foust’s five-point sequence. “He stepped up to the plate, knocked down a big trey and that sparked us.”
The Cofers had one more comeback bid in them, scoring six unanswered points to bring Good Hope within five, but Eagle sophomore Lance Stanley put the game away with two free throws and a three-point play.
“There were a couple of glitches, but I’m real proud of the effort,” Johnson said. “They never stopped fighting. Send accolades to Good Hope. They never stopped fighting either. Coach (Mike) Jones does a fantastic job of getting them prepared. I’m real happy with the win.
Vinemont had an obvious size advantage with the 6-foot-7 Sipe in the post, and it was clear the Eagles knew it, feeding the center in the post early and often. The junior finished the night with a team-high 17 points.
“We’re not where we want to be with him, but he’s a worker, a great kid, and I’m glad he’s in a Vinemont uniform,” Johnson said.
Foust trailed his tall teammate by a single point with 16, while Stanley rounded out the team’s scorers in double figures with 12 points.
Andrew Cofer was extremely productive in the Raiders’ losing effort, ending the night with four 3-pointers and a whopping 32 points. Alex Cofer was more-than helpful down the stretch en route to a 10-point performance.
The outcome improved the Eagles’ record to 9-10 and 3-2 in Class 3A, Area 13.
Vinemont will travel to Decatur Heritage on Monday, while Good Hope won’t play again until it hosts county and area-foe Hanceville next Thursday.
% Good Hope 47, Vinemont 30: After a hiccup versus Holly Pond on Monday, the Raiders (13-10, 5-0) rebounded with a double-digit win over the Eagles (6-12, 2-3) on Friday night.
Good Hope scored the first 16 points of the ballgame before McKenzie Newman banked in a deep hook shot with 1:38 in the opening quarter.
The Raiders received 12 points from sharpshooter Kayla Tillman and eight from Darcie Wilson. Both seniors drained two 3-pointers apiece.
Good Hope’s Cara Goodwin, Katelyn Bishop, Savannah Fendley and Kayla Scott each had five points.
Jordan Melton was the Eagles’ high scorer with 15 points. Sydney Wallace’s nine points all came from behind the arc.
Junior varsity boys
% Vinemont 65, Good Hope 24: Four players reached double figures for the Eagles, which improved to 13-1 by thrashing the Raiders.
Trey Tucker was tops with 15 points, Auston Hedgecock scored 14, Tyler Tucker tallied 11 and Trey Waldrop had 10.
Junior varsity girls
% Good Hope 34, Vinemont 2: Alyssa Harlin pitched in eight points, Kaylee Maddox accounted for seven and the Raiders nearly kept the home team off the scoreboard altogether.
Celest Whisenant cracked six points for Good Hope, and Celina Dillard had five.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at email@example.com.