By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Fresh off the inaugural Yule Tide Classic title, the Cullman boys’ basketball team continued its hot play with a 56-41 victory over Muscle Shoals on Thursday night.
The Bearcats (12-6) rode solid performances from Troy Forrest and Lawson Schaffer to extend their winning streak to six games.
“We stayed at around the 10-point mark all night,” Cullman coach Bobby Meyer said. “But, we kept defending and finally spread it out a little toward the end.”
After a close first quarter, the Bearcats were able to extend their lead to seven points heading into halftime.
From there, Forrest exerted his will in the post, scoring six of Cullman’s first nine third-quarter points to give the Cats a comfortable 13-point cushion heading into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, the sensational sophomore Schaffer scored 10 of his 13 points, allowing the Bearcats to coast to an easy victory.
“The guys are really playing hard right now,” Meyer added. “We’ve got a big week coming up with some area games, so we’ll see what we’ve got then.”
Forrest was the Bearcats’ leading scorer with 15 points.
Lane Donaldson and Houston Turner each contributed eight points for Cullman, while teammate Seth Swalve poured in four.
Jason McAfee and Lukas McNeal each made a trey and Auston Neal dropped in a 2-point bucket as well.
Up next for the Bearcats is a road contest against area-foe Hartselle. Cullman defeated the Tigers 66-49 earlier in the season.
% Cullman 45, Muscle Shoals 29: The Lady Bearcats won their third-straight game, easily defeating the Lady Trojans on Thursday night.
Morgan Smith was the star for Cullman (10-6), collecting 16 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The senior also had nine defensive tips in the game.
“It wasn’t really pretty,” coach Jonathan Hayes said. “But I’m happy with the win. We played pretty well defensively and did a lot better job overall in the second half.
Tied 9-9 late in the first quarter, the Bearcats went on a quick 11-0 run to stake themselves to a 20-9 advantage heading into the second quarter.
In the second half, it was the Cullman D that once again rose up, limiting the Trojans to just four second-half field goals.
Baylee Johnson came in with 10 points, while teammates Emily Tucker and Oakleigh White added seven and five points each, respectively. Blair Nall also pitched in five and Hayden Short, two.
“We got some open looks tonight,” Hayes added. “Unfortunately, some of them just wouldn’t fall. But, we’ve got a big week coming up with area games against Hartselle and West Point, so we need to keep playing well.”
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.