The Cullman girls’ basketball team picked up a impressive area win on Friday night, defeating No. 8 East Limestone, 55-52, to pick up their second win of the season.
“We made some big shots in the fourth quarter,” coach Jonathan Hayes said. “We got some clutch rebounds and stops as well.”
The scores at the quarter breaks were 20-13, 28-25 and 39-40.
The Bearcats (2-3, 1-0 in Area 15) were lead by Baylee Johnson’s 24 points. The sophomore also had six assists to go along with her three steals.
“I thought Baylee played a really good game for us,” Hayes said.
Morgan Smith was right behind her teammate, collecting a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, along with two steals.
Blair Nall came in with nine points and four assists in the win.
Hayes praised the play on Nall down the stretch.
“We put her on their best player and she did a great job,” he said. “I think, along with hitting some big shots, her play on the defensive side is what changed the game.”
The game was one of the many tough ones in the early part of the season for the Bearcats as they’ve also gone up against Holly Pond and defending 5A state champion Brewer, twice.
“It’s been a tough early stretch, but that’s what I want,” Hayes said. “It exposes what you need to work on moving forward. All in all, I’m really excited about the win and how the girls played and fought through adversity to get it.”
The Bearcats will look to make it two-in-a-row as they travel to Mortimer Jordan on Monday night.
% Cullman Christian 33, Victory Baptist 29: Despite shooting around 20 percent from the field, the Cullman Christian girls pulled out a win over Victory Baptist on Friday night to improve to 10-1 on the season.
What the Lions lacked in offensive firepower, they more than made up for on the defensive side of the ball, accumulating twenty steals in the game.
“We played scrappy defense all night,” coach Jason White said. “It’s definitely what won us the game.”
Yancey York was the Lions’ leading scorer with 14 points. She also contributed with 10 rebounds and three steals.
Jordan Canaday had nine points while Alex White poured in eight.
Defensively, both Louanne Stillwell and Christine Aldijaili had seven steals apiece. Aldijaili also grabbed 11 boards on the night.
The Lions will place next Tuesday against Bethel Baptist in an all-important area game.
% Locust Fork 53, Fairview 51: The Aggies dropped a close one on Friday night, losing their first area game of the season by two points to Locust Fork.
Fairview turned the ball over 20 times compared to just seven times for the Hornets.
The Aggies headed into the fourth quarter trailing by 12 points, but their valiant effort came up just short.
Coach Greg Boatright said the turnovers were just too much.
“It came right down to the wire,” he said. “We just had way too many turnovers in the game. We have really got to work on executing and protecting the ball better.”
The loss puts the Aggies’ record at 5-2 on the season with an 0-1 mark in Class 4A, Area 13 play.
Andy Hendrix was the high scorer with 11 points, while Blake Parker came in with 10.
Both Luke Bailey and Brooks Robertson tallied eight points in the Aggies’ second loss of the season.
Fairview’s next game will be at home against Holly Pond next Tuesday.
A halftime ceremony is planned for former Aggie coach, Joe Scults, who coached at the school back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, leading Fairview to six county championships and a third-place finish in the state tournament.
% The Times’ sports writer Jake Winfrey contributed to this report.