By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Cold Springs started off hot and finished cold.
But in the end, the Eagles showed why their team is still undefeated, making just enough plays to squeak past Mortimer Jordan, 62-57, to win the 30th annual Hanceville Thanksgiving Tournament at Wallace State on Friday night.
Runners-up in the past two tournaments to host Hanceville, the Eagles were finally able to break through against Mortimer Jordan.
“We got off to a great start against their pressure,” coach Tim Burleson said. “We had to weather the storm in the second half, though.”
The Eagles certainly did get off to a great start as Cold Springs was clicking on all cylinders early, stretching their halftime lead to 18 points.
“We had some opportunites in the second quarter to really extend our lead,” Burleson said. “However, we took some poor shots and didn’t do it.”
As hot as the Eagles were in the first half, they were equally as cold in the second half, mustering just 26 points.
A lot of the Eagles’ poor offensive output was contributed to a stingy Mortimer Jordan defense that forced Cold Springs into bad shots and turnovers with a suffocating press.
“We had a lot of trouble scoring in the third quarter,” Burleson said.
The fourth quarter saw much of the same as Mortimer Jordan scored on its first six possessions, cutting the Eagles’ lead to three points with just under five minutes to play.
However, a couple of baskets by senior Chayse Elliott gave the Eagles some breathing room heading into the game’s final minutes.
From there, the Eagles rode their clutch free-throw shooting to wrap up the win and the tournament.
Elliott netted 21 points for Cold Springs and was helped by Triston Chambers’ 16 and Layne Rice’s 15 points.
With their win, the Eagles now move to 8-0 on the young season.
“This group right now, they don’t quit,” Burleson said. “They’ve been down in several games and have been able to come out on top so far.”
Cold Springs will take a much-deserved break following their win Friday as the Eagles don’t tip-off again until Dec. 3 when they host Sulligent.
% Hanceville 68, Corner 47
Although the Bulldogs were unable to defend their title, they were able to corral third-place finish after a dominating victory over Corner.
Keith Twitty was on fire for the Bulldogs, hitting seven 3-pointers on his way to a 22-point output.
Brontae Harris came in with 21 points, while Chris Smith had 13 of his own.
Hanceville will host Cordova next Tuesday.
% Curry 55, Good Hope 50
Despite a gutsy effort by the Raiders, their bid for a second-straight win fell just short against Curry.
Good Hope fell behind early, trailing by as many as 19 points in the second quarter.
But the Raiders kept chipping away, especially in the fourth quarter.
Good Hope used an 11-0 run to close the gap late, with Andrew Cofer draining a 3-pointer to bring the Raiders to within one with just over two minutes left.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, it wasn’t enough as Curry was just too good down the stretch.
Cofer finished with 18 points, while teammate Zack Sloan pitched in with 10 of his own.
Up next for Good Hope is a game on the road against Priceville next Tuesday night.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.