COLD SPRINGS —
% Cold Springs 54, Sulligent 45: The pain on Chayse Elliott’s face was apparent as he unsteadily knelt in the front row and forced a smile while posing for pictures with his teammates after claiming the boys’ area championship.
Despite missing Friday’s semifinal versus Lamar County with a brutal high ankle sprain, there was no way the senior standout was going to sit the bench again with so much at stake for his Cold Springs’ squad. Elliott started the game for the Eagles and finished it for the Blue Devils, picking up 20 points and 12 rebounds in a gritty performance that left the raucous home-crowd with a second title to celebrate.
“You’ve got to understand, this was the most important game of our year,” the UAH signee said. “If we would’ve lost, we’d be playing the No. 4 team in 2A (Vincent).”
It took an entire team effort for the Eagles to dispatch a speedy Sulligent team. Triston Chambers and Layne Rice provided some offensive pop of their own with 13 and eight points, respectively, and every single player moved the ball to perfection, allowing Cold Springs to zip and zag for easy shots and open baskets.
Brandon Whaley and Austin Moore both chipped in four points, Josh Freeman knocked down a 3-pointer and Mason Harris was responsible for two points.
“I’m so proud of every one of them,” Elliott said of his teammates. “I can’t say enough about all those guys.
“I didn’t think we were going to be here when I hurt my arm, but we’ve come a long way, and we’re getting back in it. That’s all we can ask for, start playing good and play as a team.”
The Eagles (17-10) will hope to ride the momentum of their area championship triumph into Friday’s sub-region contest versus Altamont. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. at Cold Springs.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at email@example.com.