- Cullman, Alabama

February 8, 2014

PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cold Springs rips Sulligent 74-30, secures ninth straight area championship

By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times

COLD SPRINGS — Saturday’s area title game against Sulligent was nothing more than a prelude to an eventual celebration for the Cold Springs’ varsity girls team.

Haley Freeman netted 18 points, five other Eagles notched at least eight, and Cold Springs whooped the Blue Devils 74-30 in the Class 2A, Area 14 Tournament final — securing the Eagles’ ninth consecutive area crown dating back to the 2006 season.

“I told them this is going to be nine before the game,” coach Tammy West said. “We needed to keep the streak going. They played great. We ran our offense really well tonight.”

The No. 3 Blue and Gold (26-6) got rolling quickly out of the gate, taking a 16-6 cushion into the second quarter. It was in that frame they really started to flex their muscle — inside and out.

Senior Chloe Harbison pounded the rock down in the paint for six points, and Emme Willoughby and Keegan Johnson both had a pair of 3-pointers in the stanza to extend their team’s lead to 48-11 heading into halftime.

Freeman found her stroke in the third quarter, collecting nine points over the frame before taking a well-deserved rest going into the final eight minutes of the lopsided victory.

As a senior, Freeman said she was proud to continue on what has been a proud tradition inside Jesse George Gymnasium.

“It means a lot,” she said. “We had to win here to keep going strong so we can get to state. That's our main goal.We worked really well together tonight. We’ve come a long way this year.”

Harbison added 11 points, five steals and five rebounds in the win. Willoughby was also good for 11 points, while Caitlyn Hall’s 10 points and six boards rounded out the double-digit scorers.

Other contributors were Bailey West and Johnson, eight points each; Camryn Crider, five; McKinnley Davis, two; and Rilee White, one.

With the win, the Eagles locked up a home sub-regional affair next Thursday at 7 p.m. They will battle it out with Vincent (9-16), which fell to Fultondale 32-20 in the finale of the Area 13 Tourney.

For seniors Freeman and Harbison, they know although next week’s game will be their last one inside the friendly confines of Jesse George, it’s paramount to their ultimate destination.

“It's going to be sad, but, if we win, then we are going on to regionals,” Freeman said. “We're going to have to finish it this time around.”

Added West: “It means a lot to them to finish out their senior year. They will have more games ahead of them if they'll focus and play well over the next couple of weeks.”

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at