By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
COLD SPRINGS —
The Cold Springs’ girls basketball team is on its way to Wallace State with a full head of steam after blowing out Fultondale 82-25 in a Valentine’s Day sub-region massacre at home on Thursday night.
The Eagles were deadly from behind the arc for the second straight game, knocking down 16 3-pointers just three nights after sinking 13 against Sulligent to clinch the Class 2A, Area 14 Tournament title.
Keegan Johnson and Bailey West led the trey display with three apiece, while Hayden West, Karlee Perdue, Emme Willoughby and McKinnley Davis all pitched in two. Chloe Harbison and Haley Freeman rounded out Cold Springs’ long-range contributors with one 3 each.
“We’ve been shooting a lot during practice,” Hayden West said. “In seventh period, that’s all we do is shoot.”
As one of the Eagles’ two seniors, West wanted to make the most of her final game on Cold Springs’ home floor. She had no problem doing just that versus the Wildcats, letting loose for 10 of her team-high 13 points in the third quarter.
West began the third quarter by swishing a 3-pointer. She added a three-point play along the way and connected on all five free-throw attempts during the eight-minute stretch.
“It was very important,” West said of leaving the Eagles’ gym with one last victory. “This just means a lot to me and my team to win this game.”
Haven Watson, Cold Springs’ other senior, has been relegated to the bench since suffering a season-ending ACL injury in December. That didn’t stop the strong leader and rebounder from being recognized before tip-off, however, which made for an emotional scene on the Eagle bench.
“I didn’t know my last game (when she was injured) would be my last game,” Watson said while holding back tears.
Caitlyn Hall and Harbison accompanied West in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Johnson and Bailey West just missed out on the club with nine points apiece. Willoughby was next in line with eight points, followed by Perdue and Davis, six each; Freeman, five; and Rilee White, four.
Katrina Hubbard was Fultondale’s top scorer with 14 points.
As easy as Thursday night’s contest was against the Wildcats, the Eagles are expecting next Tuesday’s Northwest Regional semifinal against Red Bay to be anything but. The No. 5 Tigers advanced by defeating No. 4 Lexington on Thursday.
Tip-off for Cold Springs-Red Bay will be 3 p.m. at the Tom Drake Coliseum.
“We’re ready. We’ve been working very,very hard for this,” Hayden West said. “All we’ve been doing is thinking about it, talking about it, breathing it, bonding, that’s all we’ve been doing.”
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.