Good Hope traveled to No. 7 Haleyville (23-7) Tuesday trying to earn a berth at regionals to return to Wallace but fell short 79-57 to bring their season to an end. The high-powered offense of the Lions was ultimately too much as their top two guards combined for 60 of their 79 points.
Good Hope opened the game strong, building a 9-4 lead early, but Haleyville was able to battle back before catching fire. Despite Tanner Malin’s early 7 points, the Lions finished the quarter with a 12-0 run capped off by a buzzer-beater to put them on top 23-14
Weston Hancock and Jacob Haynes each came off the bench and combined for 11 in the second period, which helped pull the Raiders back in it. Malin then scored six straight, and his brother Tucker added a big three to cut it to one before Haleyville zipped the ball up the floor for a quick two before the buzzer went off to put it 40-36 Haleyville heading into halftime.
Good Hope came out in the second half and had got Noah Barnette going with seven points in the quarter, while Malin, Kmal Bell, and Hancock all chipped in as well. Despite the solid offense period, Haleyville answered every punch with a counter and extended their lead to nine, going into the final frame up 61-52.
Malin finished with 17 points, with Barnette adding 10. Hancock and Bell had 9, with Hancocks all coming from threes.
From here, it was all Lions as they outscored Good Hope 18-5 in the frame, punching their ticket to the regional tournament at Wallace. These losses are never fun, but in context, this is a season this team should be proud of. Head coach Drew Adams had this to say on their season, “We were 8-9. I just couldn’t be prouder of how this team fought and battled to not only win 20 games but a county championship as well. I just love this team.”
As Coach Adams said this team was able to bounce back from so much adversity to get to this point and they shouldn’t be prouder. Malin, one of the best to tie it up in a Raider jersey, had a tremendous season and continued to raise the bar for what’s expected from this program. With a ton of returning talent, this team will come back next year looking to build on what this team was able to accomplish. So many lessons were learned by the underclassmen that will have rippling effects for years to come.