Palee Myrex didn’t hesitate with her response.
“Seven games,” the Cold Springs High senior said when asked how many wins the Eagles need for a state championship trophy.
That was just minutes after top-ranked (2A) Cold Springs won the program’s fourth consecutive Cullman County title with a 53-32 dismantling of No. 5 (3A) Holly Pond Saturday night at Wallace State.
“We haven’t lost sight of our overall goal,” said senior guard Georgia Myrex. “But winning the county is prestigious, too, and I’m proud to be a part of four in a row.
Now she wants to be part of three in a row — state titles, that is.
That’s the overall goal. And based on Cold Springs’ play in the county title game, the Eagles appear to be primed for a run at it.
Cold Springs dominated the tournament’s top seed — a Holly Pond team that’s been ranked all season — and it wasn’t even close.
Using full-court pressure, Cold Springs smothered Holly Pond with its fast-paced style of play. The Broncos struggled with turnovers and didn’t even score a single point in the first three minutes of regulation.
Cold Springs didn’t wait up, either. Georgia Myrex nailed a couple of quick 3-pointers and made a layup, scoring the first eight points of the game.
And the Eagles continued to pile it on, opening the game with a 17-5 run.
“I’m not really surprised that we started that fast,” Palee Myrex said. “We were really, really pumped up.”
That energy didn’t fade away. Georgia Myrex scored nine points in the second quarter, helping Cold Springs build a 33-12 lead before halftime.
But a 20-point first-half deficit wasn’t the only devastating blow Holly Pond took. The Broncos also had three starters — Haley Bagwell, Kelsey Hawkins and Alisha Keller — on the bench in foul trouble by the midway point of the second quarter.
Hawkins had four fouls by the end of the first quarter — two of them for trying to run through screens — and was on the bench for most of the game. The senior is one of Holly Pond’s leading scorers.
“The foul trouble they got in, that changed the game,” Georgia Myrex said.
Trailing 45-24 after three quarters, Holly Pond managed to trim the lead 17 in the fourth. But the Broncos weren’t able to get any closer.
Cold Springs had a strong performance from the free-throw line, finishing 14-for-19. Georgia Myrex was 7-for-8 from the charity stripe.
The Eagles were also stout on defense, holding an opponent to fewer than 40 points for the 12th time this season. Holly Pond did not have a player reach double figures in scoring.
Keller and Bagwell led Holly Pond with six points each, while Maeleigha Basenburg and Hawkins scored five each.
Georgia Myrex led all scorers with 29 points. Palee Myrex followed with seven points for the Eagles, while Courtney Rice and Abby Myrex tossed in six each.
Now that Cold Springs has extended its Cullman County title streak to four straight, the Eagles’ attention has turned to the postseason. Cold Springs will host the Class 2A, Area 13 tournament later this week.
“I think we’re ready,” Palee Myrex said. “I know we’re ready.”
• Justin Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 257 or by e-mail at email@example.com.