Cullman's varsity girls overcame a 13-point halftime deficit on Thursday to pick up a 56-49 home win against Arab.

The Class 6A No. 8 Lady Bearcats (19-5) trailed 27-14 to open the third quarter but quickly put together an 11-0 run.

Olivia Neal drained three 3-pointers in the frame to help pull Cullman to within three points entering the final stanza.

Sadie Young's long-distance shot with 2:30 left in the game put the Lady Bearcats in front 46-44. 

Thanks to some clutch free-throw shooting, Cullman never trailed again.

Coach Josh Hembree's group went 19 for 24 in the fourth quarter at the charity stripe to keep the lead.

Anna Katherine Eastman was a spotless 10 of 10 on her own in the decisive frame.

For Hembree, it was a proverbial tale of two halves.

"We were not ready to play," he said. "We missed a dozen layups in the first half. We executed pretty well ... I was quite pleased with our execution. But we let one play affect the other. That's not something we want to do. We want to be resilient. We want to have a short memory. If we miss a shot, no big deal. We're going to go make the next one. We just compounded our mistakes.

"But the girls came out in the second half, and I thought they were better and more prepared. Olivia Neal got hot there at the start. That gave us a boost offensively. But Arab wouldn't go away. Give them credit. They fought and did what it took to hang in the basketball game. Luckily our girls made some free throws down the stretch. It's a good win for us, but we've got to figure out a way to get ourselves started and play better from the get-go."

Neal nabbed a team-high 11 points, while Eastman (10), Young (nine), Regan Quattlebaum (seven), Kinslee Borden (six), Anna Grace Murphy (five), Alexandria Barker (four), Hannah Hoffman (two) and Kortlin Cuellar (two) scored as well for the Lady Bearcats in the victory.

% Cold Springs 68, Good Hope 25: The 2A No. 5 Lady Eagles rolled to a home win on Thursday.

Camryn Crider swished seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points for Cold Springs (19-5). 

Lina Lieckfeld (13), Toni West (10) and Elizabeth Hill (nine) also pitched in offensively for coach Tammy West's squad.

Rudi Derrick and Savanna Derrick paced Good Hope with seven points apiece.

Desire' Odachowski and Savanna Burney each collected five.

% Holly Pond 49, Vinemont 7: The Lady Broncos improved to 10-11 this season following Thursday's road victory.

Elizabeth Miller paced Holly Pond with 14 points, while Maddi Ham had 10.

Tess Duke, Kirsten Campbell and Maddie Heatherly totaled six apiece as well.

Kanasta Daniel (four) and Bailey Preiss (three) notched the points for the Lady Eagles.


Varsity Boys

% Arab 59, Cullman 52: The Bearcats dropped to 15-8 this season following Thursday's home loss.

Cullman trailed 17-4 after the first frame but closed the gap to 23-22 heading into halftime.

The road squad, however, was able to make a few more plays in the final two quarters.

Noah Bussman led the Bearcats with 15 points, while Jayden Sullins added 14. 

Kaleb Heatherly (six), Mason Herron (five), JT White (five), Tucker Gambrill (three), Cooper Beck (two) and Jaden Orr (two) also contributed.

% Good Hope 70, Cold Springs 45: The Raiders delivered a strong road effort on Thursday.

Noah Fendley (24), Cole Maddox (16) and Drew Maddox (14) were the top contributors for Good Hope, now 17-5.

The Eagles, who fell to 14-8 this season, were led by Landyn Freeman's 11 points.

Brody Peppers (10) and Adam Hill (nine) also pitched in buckets.

% Holly Pond 75, Vinemont 39: Kyler Chaney claimed 26 points to lift the Broncos to a road win on Thursday.

Holly Pond (12-10) also received double-digit contributions from Parker Sellers (12) and Isaac Ludwig (11).

Katch Johnson poured in a team-high 16 points for Vinemont in the loss. 

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.​

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I'm an Auburn University graduate with a passion for sports, reading and diet Mountain Dew.