WEST POINT — Holly Pond and West Point went at it like a pair of seasoned heavyweight boxers on Monday night.
The two teams traded round after round, body blow after body blow and haymaker after haymaker during the county clash inside Jim Boyd Gymnasium, neither squad willing to cede an inch to the other.
In the end, however, it was the Broncos who landed the final shot, edging the Warriors 76-74 for a fantastic road win to improve to 6-2 this season.
Holly Pond overcame a 10-point deficit in the third stanza and a nine-point deficit in the final frame — the Green and White relied on forcing turnovers with their speed to counter West Point's huge size advantage in the paint — for the triumph, their fourth straight against a Cullman County opponent.
"Our second group really gave us a lift down the stretch," coach Mitch Morris said. "They got us back in it, got us the lead, gave us some life. Then the other guys came in and kept that going. West Point has a terrific team, but I'm just tickled to death that my guys handled the adversity, made some plays and came away with the win tonight."
West Point garnered a quick lead to start second half — the game was tied at halftime — by taking full advantage of the mismatch in the middle.
Austin Dubberly and Coby Sullins then claimed consecutive 3-pointers to gift the home team a 50-40 cushion, which the Broncos — behind Griffin Morris — fought tooth-and-nail to whittle down to seven heading into the fourth quarter.
A pair of Noah Gammon free throws increased Holly Pond's deficit to nine early in the frame ... then came the clutch comeback sparked by role players and pressure defense.
Brody Rowell and Cooper Jones forced a Maroon and White timeout after a couple of steals and layups before Zach Shaw knocked down a 3-pointer to slice his team's deficit down to one point.
Back and forth it went until Morris and Jake Harris tickled the twine on respective 3-pointers to propel the Green and White to a 70-66 cushion — McKinley Garrett's putback made it 72-66 — in the waning moments.
"Everybody we face is going to be bigger than us," Morris said. "They gave us trouble throughout the game. But our smaller guys were able to make enough plays ... steals into points ... that gave us really good opportunities to make bigger plays down the stretch."
The Warriors didn't go quietly in the night, however, as Sullins hit another trey to make it 74-73 in favor of the Green and White. Harris and Sullins then each hit one free throw to make it 75-74 before Harris had a chance to ice things with 4.6 seconds left in the game.
Despite two misses, Shaw was able to pull down the rebound with 0.4 seconds remaining, all but bringing the game to an end. He made the first free throw and missed the second on purpose to run out the clock.
Morris paced all scorers with a squad-high 25 points, while Kyler Chaney (16), Harris (11), Shaw (eight) and Garrett (eight) also earned big-time buckets for Holly Pond.
"We're having to figure out ways to win," Morris said. "I didn't have to do a whole lot of coaching last season. These guys are still trying to figure it out. We've had some good moments, and we've got some great players. I don't really think we're mentally strong enough yet, though, to make those key runs and take control of a game. Hopefully, we'll be able to accomplish that this season."
West Point (4-4) was led in points by Sullins (15), Rylan Jones (14), Sapp (13) and Dubberly (13).
The Warriors travel to Cold Springs on Tuesday night, while the Broncos welcome in Susan Moore for an area bout.
% Cullman 73, Randolph 38: Dylan Finch's double-double (21 points and 12 rebounds) spearheaded a spiffy road victory for the Bearcats on Monday night.
Trey Tucker and JD Parrish secured 12 points apiece for Cullman, which improved to 6-4 this season. Drew Morton (eight), Zane Manley (six) and Jayden Sullins (six) also contributed on the offensive end of the court.
The Black and Gold hosts Albertville in an area clash this Friday night.
% St. Bernard 48, Addison 44: The Saints squeaked one out against the Bulldogs on Monday night.
Elijah Price racked up 19 points and four rebounds, while Christian Peterson put together 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists for St. Bernard in the victory.
Coach Greg Boatright's squad welcomes in Vinemont this Thursday night.
Stats for Addison were unavailable.
% St. Bernard 55, Winston County 36: Christian Peterson (23 points) and Elijah Price (12) had solid showings for the Saints during Friday night's runaway victory.
% West Point 59, Holly Pond 35: The Class 5A, No. 7 Lady Warriors led 23-5 following a superb first quarter and never looked back en route to a ho-hum home and county victory on Monday night.
West Point (9-0) received fine scoring contributions from Micah Oldacre (12), Miriam Oldacre (11) and Lexi Shadix (11) during the game, which was never in doubt from the opening tip.
Holly Pond (1-6) was paced by McKenna Folds (nine) and Tess Duke (six), both of whom claimed their points from behind the 3-point line.
% Cullman 59, Randolph 4: The Lady Bearcats dominated their opponent from start to finish on Monday evening.
All 10 Cullman players tallied at least two points in the win — Kennedy Wren and Anna Katherine Eastman picked up 12 and 11, respectively, to led the way — as coach Josh Hembree's group raced out to a 42-4 halftime cushion.
Olivia Neal (seven), Anna Evans (seven), Sadie Young (six) and Alexandria Barker (six) also corralled big buckets during the runaway triumph.
The Lady Bearcats are now 6-5 this season.