Prep Basketball PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Bearcats fall 61-55; Bearcats best Hartselle 68-50 | CullmanSense

Prep Basketball

PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Bearcats fall 61-55; Bearcats best Hartselle 68-50

Cullman's Nick Williams (3) defends against a Hartselle player in Thursday night's game. / Nick Griffin

CULLMAN - The Cullman Bearcats hosted the Hartselle Tigers Thursday night for the Bearcats’ final regular season matchup. It was Senior Night for the ‘Cats so all seniors for both the girls’ and boys’ squads were recognized on the floor in between the two games.

Representatives from the Cullman County Community Development Commission were also in the building to present a $50,000 grant to Cullman High School for its planned gym renovations. The renovations will bring the gym up to code with ADA guidelines. (See more at www.cullmantribune.com/articles/2018/01/29/cccdc-awards-almost-180k-grants)

Varsity Girls: Hartselle 61, Cullman 55

The Lady Bearcats dropped the first matchup of the night to Hartselle in a tight game that never saw either team take more than a six-point lead. The Lady ‘Cats trailed 32-31 at the half and the game continued back and forth till the Lady Tigers began to pull away late in the fourth.

Cullman’s Anna Katherine Eastman gave the Lady ‘Cats a big lift offensively, leading the team with an impressive 22 points and five rebounds. Fourteen of those points came in the first half, but Cullman’s offense couldn’t get back into a consistent rhythm in the second.

Lady Bearcats’ guard Hannah Hoffman was able to carry some of the load late in the game, scoring six of her 11 points in the final frame. Hartselle’s Moriah Taylor led the way for the Lady Tigers, and her game-high 24 points were a problem for Cullman defensively.

The regular season has concluded for the Lady Bearcats and now their focus will shift to post-season play. They will try to put tonight’s loss behind them as they get ready to take on Fort Payne at Brewer High School on Monday at 7:30.

Varsity Boys: Cullman 68, Hartselle 50

In Tuesday night’s second matchup, the Bearcats and the Tigers clashed in a physical game that was very competitive until the second half began. The Bearcats started the third quarter with a 25-18 lead over Hartselle, then their offense exploded, and the defense held the Tigers to just eight points in the frame. Cullman guards Drew Morton and Jacob McAfee got hot from the 3-point line and combined to hit five in the third quarter alone. Morton led the ‘Cats with 17 points and McAfee finished right behind him with 16.

The ‘Cats scored 26 in the third, stretching their lead to 25 points at the start of the fourth quarter, and despite a scoring run late in the game for Hartselle, Cullman’s lead was too much for the Tigers to overcome.

The home crowd began to take over as the ‘Cats continued to drain threes, and by the end of the third you could hardly hear the person next to you. The big swing of momentum and emotion led to some heated moments on the floor, but the ‘Cats stayed in control through the end and finished off the regular season with a win over their rivals on Senior Night.

The ‘Cats are at their best when they get hot from behind the line and they’ll try to keep up the hot shooting in the postseason, starting with a matchup against Fort Payne at Albertville High School on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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  • Nick Griffin
    Cullman's Anna Evans (3)
  • Nick Griffin
    Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall, left, accepts a $50,000 grant from the Cullman Community Development Commission's Jamie Speakman.
  • Nick Griffin
    Left to right: Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, CHS Vice Principal Aaron Sparks, CHS Principal Kim Hall, CCCDC board member Jamie Speakman, Alabama Sen. Paul Bussman, Alabama Rep. Corey Harbison, CCCDC board member Josh Speakman and CCCDC board member Bradley Williams