Following an uncharacteristically disappointing start to the 2012-13 campaign, the hope is back in Good Hope’s girls basketball team, which clinched the regular season Class 3A, Area 15 title Friday on the road with a gritty 38-36 triumph.
Kayla Tillman scored 15 points, and Katelyn Bishop had 14, but the Raiders’ biggest contribution came from Savannah Fendley, who drained a last-second, game-winning layup to lift Good Hope to its fifth straight victory.
Fendley ended the night with six points. Cara Goodwin pitched in three.
The Red and White will take their 9-9 (4-0) record into the Hayden Christmas Tournament. Good Hope will open play against Cordova at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
% Cullman 80, Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) 53: The Bearcats began the Winterfest Shootout with a loss but closed the Tennessee tournament with a pair of wins, beating Montgomery Academy on Friday and then putting on an offensive clinic versus Pigeon Forge on Saturday morning.
Big men Houston Turner and Troy Forrest went off for 20 and 14 points, respectively, in Cullman’s latest victory, which improved its record to 8-6. Auston Neal rounded out the Bearcats in double figures with 10 points.
Other Black and Gold contributors were Lawson Schaffer and JW Shabel, eight points; Seth Swalve, seven; Lee Mattox, six; Lukas McNeal, three; and Keaton Dean and Jason McAfee, two.
% Hanceville 56, West Blocton 24: The Bulldogs blasted the Tigers in first-round action of the Corner Christmas Tournament on Thursday.
Stats from this game were not provided.
% Oneonta 41, Fairview 31: The Aggies held the lead after the first quarter but let it slip over the next three to drop a Class 4A, Area 13 contest Friday night on the road.
Peter Kessler scored eight points for Fairview, which fell to 8-4 (1-2).
% Corner 51, Vinemont 45: The Eagles clawed back from a 33-13 halftime deficit but never quite could come back all the way, as the Yellow Jackets held on for a win in opening-round play of their own Christmas tournament on Thursday.
Vinemont’s Lance Stanley drained four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 19 points.