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February 8, 2013

PREP BASKETBALL: Eagles soar into area championship game with easy win over Lamar County

COLD SPRINGS — Tim Burleson and his Cold Springs basketball team can't seem to catch a break this season.

Just when it looked as though they were on the mend and back in sync, the injury bug struck again this week. With the opening night of the Class 2A, Area 14 tournament held Friday, the Eagles found themselves taking on Lamar County without starting player and UA-Huntsville signee Chayse Elliott, who was forced to watch from the bench with a high ankle sprain.

But, as occurred earlier in the season when Elliott was sidelined with a broken wrist, the contributions from others were plentiful, as Cold Springs knocked off the Bulldogs 68-55.

"We were trying to get back in sync to where we were before Chayse got hurt earlier in the season, and then we had this other setback, but the kids really stepped it up tonight," Burleson said. "We got contributions from a number of different players, and I was pleased about that."

One of those was freshman Josh Freeman.

Freeman sparked a 12-0 Cold Springs run with just over three minutes remaining in the second quarter by sinking back-to-back three-pointers. The Eagles closed the half with a 45-27 advantage.

The 18-point margin stood for much of the third quarter before the Bulldogs began chipping away. However, the closest Lamar County got was 11 after back-to-back baskets by Austin Spann to make it 62-51.

Layne Rice led Cold Springs (16-10) with 16 points. Freeman finished the night with 15, 10 of those points coming in the second quarter. Triston Chambers added 12, followed by Austin Moore with nine. Terry Campbell and Mason Harris each contributed eight points.

Spann led Lamar County with 21.

The win advanced Cold Springs to the area championship game Monday night at 7 p.m., where they will face Sulligent.

"We're playing at home, so hopefully that will give us a little bit of an advantage, but we're going to have to play a good game to beat Sulligent."

% Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com

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