In a game of runs it was Good Hope who was able to make just one more than Cold Springs to capture their 3rd county title in four years with a 65-53 win. The Raiders exploded for 22 points in the 4th quarter and held off every attempt the Eagles made to taking a lead. 

The first half was a slow, methodical chess match where neither team seemed to want to budge. Good Hope overcame an early 9-3 deficit, finishing on a 10-0 run to take the lead 13-9. The second period was similar to the first, but Cold Springs was able to chip away at the lead doing what they do best: ball movement, feed the post, and make the smart play from there. They used that, as they have all year, to score several points in the paint, while also getting several open looks from three. After all was said and done in the first half these two rivals were squared at 25 a piece. 


The second half started much like the first until Good Hope exploded in the blink of the eye. Kmal Bell drained a three from the right wing, then a tipped inbound fell right into his hands at the same spot. So what did he do? Knock down his second three in about four seconds. Fast forward about 5 seconds later and Tanner Malin was stealing another pass and laying it in for 8 points in all of 10 seconds to take a 38-29 lead. Reggie Miller would be proud. 
If you thought Cold Springs was just folding from there, not so fast. Cold Springs head coach Tim Willoughby called time out and then used their patience offense and stingy defense to go on their own 9-0 run to tie things up at 38 all. Tucker Malin and Noah Barnette were able to score two quick baskets before the end of the quarter to give Good Hope and 43-38 lead. 

Heading into the fourth Cold Springs Cody Bales and company did everything within their power to keep battling, but every time they made play Good Hope answered. Bales scored 8 in the fourth, and finished with a game high 22. Cold Springs cut it to a one possession game on several occasions, but ultimately fell short losing 65-53. 


Cold Springs John Mark Smith scored 9 for Cold Springs, all on threes. Tyler Kilgo and Brody Peppers each added 8. Kmal Bell finished with a team high 16 for the Raiders. Tyler Cone scored 13, Malin had 13, and Barnette finished with 11. 


In the fourth it was free throws that won it for the Raiders. They went 14/14 from the line in the period and clutch free throws down the stretch. The Raiders, possibly the hottest team in 4A, are winners of nine straight and are county champions once again. Head coach Drew Adams had this to say on his teams big win, “I’m super proud of the guys and we’re glad to win county again. Basketball is a tournament sport so you gotta show up every night and our guys were able to make plays.” 


With their sites now on an area tournament that’s still undecided Coach Adams said, “We’ve seen County champs laid area eggs, and we don’t want a county hangover. We prioritize area over county so I’m glad to see us playing our best basketball of the season.” 


Good Hope will be hosting a ranked Priceville team in less than 48 hours, the same night the area will be finalized as Hanceville travels to Curry. Cold Springs meanwhile will prepare to host their area as 2A Area 13 regular season champs.