‰ Cullman 60, Northridge 42: Junior Baylee Johnson scored a game-high 29 points as the Lady Bearcats doled out a bit of revenge on Thursday evening with a lopsided victory over Northridge High in the first round of their Yule Tide Classic.
Cullman fell to the defending-champion Lady Jags 54-43 during last year's tourney but was never in danger of dropping this contest thanks in large part to a blistering effort on both sides of the floor.
"We ran some great sets in this game," Bearcat coach Jonathan Hayes said. "We had some girls knock down some shots, too. Coming into the game, we knew we wanted to make them play from behind and we did that. Defensively, we played a little stronger in the second half. Overall, I was happy with our play."
Johnson got the Black and Gold off to a hot start, scoring 13 first-quarter points to stake her team to a 21-10 lead after one before Northridge closed the gap to nine at the half.
Whatever hopes the Jags had of making it a game quickly came to a screeching halt in the third quarter.
The Bearcats outscored their opening-round opponent 22-7 in the frame — Johnson dropped in 11, while Oakleigh White added nine — to double-up Northridge 52-26 with just eight minutes left to play.
Johnson was simply magical for Cullman on the evening, collecting numerous dimes, steals and tipped balls to go along with her scoring output.
"Baylee did a great job for us tonight," Hayes said. "She makes my job easy. She's a great worker and player. I wouldn't take any other guard in the state, I really wouldn't. She did it all for us tonight. Scoring, steals, D, assists. I wouldn't trade her for anybody."
White finished the night with 13, while Hayden Short added eight. Christina Skinner was good for seven of her own in the win. Madison Lee netted four to round out the scoring for the Bearcats.
Cullman will take on Hartselle Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Tigers defeated Brooks earlier in the day.
"Hopefully we can play like we did tonight," Hayes said.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at email@example.com.