- Cullman, Alabama

January 31, 2014

PREP BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Cold Springs storms back in second half, earns 82-71 victory over Vinemont

Staff Reports
The Cullman Times

COLD SPRINGS — It’s safe to call Cold Springs’ varsity boys team the comeback kids of Cullman County.

After erasing deficits in their past two games against Holly Pond and Walker, the Eagles were at it once again versus Vinemont on Friday night.

The Blue and Gold (18-9) scored 61 second-half points to dissolve an 18-point halftime hole and secure a thrilling 82-71 victory over their county rival inside Jesse George Gymnasium.

“It just broke loose for us in the third quarter,” Cold Springs coach Tim Willoughby said. “We shot horribly before the second half got started.”

Trailing 39-21, the Eagles scored 36 points in the third frame to surge ahead of the Red and White and take a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Senior Layne Rice drained three of his team’s six 3-pointers in the quarter, while Triston Chambers tossed in 13 points as well in the big stanza for Cold Springs.

Rice (27 points), Chambers (25) and Josh Freeman (21) had huge nights — specifically in the second half — for the hosting squad. Of their combined 73 points, 58 came in quarters three and four.

The loss overshadowed a sensational performance by senior Garrett Sipe, who scored a game-high 29 points for Vinemont.

“He just killed us,” Willoughby said. “They pounded it inside against us all night. Luckily, we were able to make it more of a full-court game in the second half.”

Lance Stanley, Riley Foust and Zach Drake scored 10 poings each in the losing effort.

Cold Springs will travel to West Point on Monday night, while Vinemont will host Fairview.

% Cullman 89, Dora 76: Seth Swalve netted 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, and the Bearcats received nice scoring contributions from Lawson Schaffer, Keaton Dean and Lane Donaldson to runaway with a road win over the Class 4A Bulldogs on Friday night.

It was Cullman’s fourth straight win, moving its record to 19-7 on the season. It was also the 12th time in 26 contests the Black and Gold have eclipsed the 84-point mark on offense.

“We had a tough environment to overcome tonight,” Bearcat coach Bobby Meyer said. “Seth came out on fire and led the offense. Balanced scoring keyed this victory for us.”

Donaldson (12 points), Schaffer (11) and Dean (10) were all double-digit scorers on the night, while Lee Mattox added nine of his own. Austin Beck, Auston Neal and Chase Slocumb were each good for seven in the win. Jason McAfee added a 3-point basket to round out the scoring.

The Bearcats travel to Gardendale Saturday.

% Fairview 67, Hanceville 61: The Aggies weren’t about to end their Senior Night with a defeat — especially one to the county-rival Bulldogs.

Seniors Elijah Garrison scored 23 points and Chance Hill tossed in 16, as Fairview grabbed an upset victory over 3A No. 7 Hanceville on Friday evening.

“It was a hard-fought team win,” coach Kurt Knight said. “I’m proud of our seniors’ leadership tonight.”

Other Aggie contributors were Tyler Yearwood, eight points; Sid Smith, six; Hunter Brewer; four; Terance Maze, three; and Devan Parker, Jackson Smith and Austin Fletcher, two apiece.

For the Bulldogs, Brontae Harris and Chris Smith both tallied 14 points. Xavier Malcolm contributed 13 and Keith Twitty, nine. Dant’e Reese grabbed seven. Matt Burns made a trey. Christian Sellers connected on a free throw to round out the scoring for Hanceville.

Varsity Girls

% Cullman 65, Dora 26:
It was business as usual for the Lady Bearcats, as they defeated the Bulldogs handily for the second time this season.

Baylee Johnson poured in a game-high 31 points to pace the Black and Gold to a win. Other contributors were Laura Lindsey, eight points; Maddi Lee and Kaitlyn Brannon, five apiece; Carrie Evans and Oakleigh White, four each; Christina Skinner, three; and Taiya Ponder and Hayden Short, both two.

“I feel this team is playing well heading into area tournament play next week,” coach Jonathan Hayes said.

The Bearcats are now 17-9 on the season.

% Cold Springs 65, Vinemont 14: The Class 2A No. 3 Eagles moved to 23-6 on the season following a dominant victory versus their county rival Friday night.

Haley Freeman (15 points), Chloe Harbison (13) and McKinnley Davis (10) led the offense for Cold Springs. Caitlyn Hall threw in seven points, while Keegan Johnson and Bailey West each notched six.

Emme Willoughby was good for four, and junior-varsity callups Rilee White and Camryn Crider had two apiece.

Casey Westmoreland and Katie Speer each contributed six points for Vinemont.

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