AHSAA Class 2A state championship
At Legacy Arena - Birmingham:
Cold Springs 16 9 14 5 13 - 57 (28-6)
Fyffe 6 10 20 8 9 - 53 (30-6)
Cold Springs: Elizabeth Hill 30, Camryn Crider 16, Neely Ellison 5,Toni West 2, Aubrey Negron 4.
Fyffe: Marie Woodall 17, Alexia Barber 12, Madison Myers 9, Anabelle Taylor 9, Maggie Woodall 6.
FLASH NOTES: A team effort is the reason why the AHSAA 2A girls state championship is in Cullman County, not Dekalb County.
Cold Springs utilized team play as junior Neely Ellison put the Lady Eagles ahead in overtime with a three-pointer at the 3:04 mark and then a steal and layup 19 seconds later. Her two plays pushed the score to 49-44.
Fyffe was able to cut the deficit to three on a couple of trips after Ellison's heroics. But free throws from Elizabeth Hill, scoring three out of four in the final 9 seconds was the difference.
Hill started 0-7 from the floor, then hit a three as time expired in the first, for her first points of the morning. Hill would go four of 10 in threes, eight of 22 total field goals and a solid 10 of 12 from the foul line.
Cold Springs shot 15 of 19 from the stripe for 78 percent. Fyffe, who was 5 of 14 in free throws vs. RC Hatch, improved that department, making 15 of 22.
What got the Red Devils back in the game after down 22-6 in the second and 25-16 at halftime, was three-point shooting. From 0-6 in the first half, the Red Devils converted six of 13 during the second half, four of 12 in a third quarter that had Fyffe outscoring Cold Springs 20-14 to close the deficit to 39-36.
The Lady Eagles managed two made shots in the fourth as Fyffe rallied from a 44-36 deficit with 5:29 left in the fourth, to tie the game at 44-44 with 1:10 showing on the fourth period clock.
"What a great game this was," coach Tammy West said afterwards. "Fyffe played well in the second half and kept digging in. We would go up by eight to nine to 10 points and they would fight back."
Ellison, credited with the game winner, said the following," I knew my team needed it from me (referring to the go ahead 3)."
Cold Springs has accomplished state championships in 1999, 2008, 2009 and in 2019.
They have the most state titles in girls basketball in Cullman County history.
From left, Camryn Crider, Elizabeth Hill, Cold Springs coach Tammy West, Aubrey Negron and Neely Ellison during postgame conference after 2A state championship game.
Photo courtesy of the AHSAA.
AHSAA Class 2A basketball state championship preview:
Cold Springs Lady Eagles vs. Fyffe Lady Red Devils
SITE: Legacy Arena inside the BJCC
TIME: 9:00 a.m.
RADIO: Live on WKUL-FM (92.1)
REGION: Northwest Regional winner
STATE SEMIFINAL: Defeated GW Long 52-36
STATE RANKING: # 5 in final 2A poll
KEY PERSONNEL: C Elizabeth Hill (NW Regional MVP) scored 16 in state semifinal, 8-8 FTs, 4 rebounds, 2 steals. SG Camryn Crider 11 points, 6-8 FTs, steals. PG Toni West 3 assists, 3 steals, 9 rebounds.
Kinley Campbell scored playoff high 11 points on 4-7 FGs, 4 rebounds, 2 assists.
REGION: Northeast Regional winner
STATE SEMIFINAL: Defeated RC Hatch 41-39
STATE RANKINGL # 7 in final 2A poll
KEY PERSONNEL: Alexia Barber 13 points, 5-13 FGs, 13 rebounds, Maggie Woodall 10 points, 4-9 FGs, 3 assists, 3 steals.
FLASH NOTES: Cold Springs has made a steady climb of getting back to play for a state championship. The Lady Eagles have won it in 1999, 2008 and 2009. Posting a hard fought victory over GW Long now puts them in the position to return to Cullman County with the blue hardware.
It will come down to the play of Elizabeth Hill, Camryn Crider and Toni West, the triple threat for the Lady Eagles offensively.
Hill can create scoring chances on driving to the basket, plus stepping out and hitting perimeter shots. Crider is the 3-point specialist, with West the point guard, showing steady ball handling and being very mature as a sophomore starter.
Others who will need to make a factor include Neely Ellison, Aubrey Negron, Nina Leickfield and Kinley Campbell. Campbell produced a double digit outing in the semifinal, shooting 57 percent and getting four rebounds.
Fyffe led RC Hatch 23-17 at the half and held on for a 41-39 triumph to make the 2A final a battle of North Alabama squads. Fyffe has seven state titles to its credit, the last coming in 2000.
Cold Springs has only lost once since the start of 2019, that coming in the Cullman County final to West Point. The Lady Eagles have reeled off six victories in the playoffs and have matched West Point in total wins on the season with 27 in 33 games.
Photo of Cold Springs PG Toni West (4) vs. GW Long in the 2A state semifinal.
Photo courtesy of AHSAA.
AHSAA Basketball 2A Final Four:
Cold Springs Lady Eagles (26-6) vs. GW Long Lady Rebels (26-5)
Monday, February 25
SITE: Legacy Arena inside the BJCC - Birmingham
TIME: 3:00 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT TO BIRMINGHAM: Cold Springs 54-36 over Red Bay in NW Regional final.
GW Long 51-42 over Geneva Co in SE Regional final.
COLD SPRINGS: Elizabeth Hill was named regional MVP. Hill tossed in 26 points in the semifinal victory (49-33) over Hatton and scored 20 against Red Bay before leaving the game with an ankle injury late in the 4th quarter.
Coach Tammy West said Hill will receive treatment and should be ready to play in the state semifinal.
Teammates Camryn Crider and Toni West were named to the regional all-tournament team.
The Lady Eagles have a 6-game winning streak going to Birmingham. Their last defeat was to West Point in the Cullman County semifinals 68-58. Cold Springs is the top three-point shooting attack in the nation, according to Max Preps.
Cold Springs connected on 20 treys in 92-36 win against Cleveland in the 2A, Area 12 final February 8. That tied West Point for most treys in one game this season. Camryn Crider tied a state single game record with 13 3-point field goals at Cleveland January 4.
Lady Eagles are 12-1 since January with wins against 1A regional champion Phillips and playoff qualifiers Hatton and Red Bay.
GW LONG: Mary Beth Long scored 23 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and was selected the SE Regional for the Lady Rebs. Emmaline Hughes added 16 points, Hannah Payne tossed in seven.
All three were on the regional all-tournament team.
The Lady Rebs are 12-3 since January. They have won their last three games enroute to the Final Four.
Female athletics is very good at this school currently. GW Long won the 2A state softball title last spring and reached the volleyball Final Four last fall.
WINNER PLAYS: Winner of Fyffe-RC Hatch on March 1 for state title 9:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Cold Springs High School
Cullman County semifinal
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
# 2 Cold Springs 10 14 12 12 - 48
# 3 Fairview 6 3 1 5 - 15
Cold Springs: Kyla Aaron 14, Lacey Rice 13, Madison Bruer 9, Emma Chambers 4, Brooklyn Crider 2, Emme Harbison 2, Ella Stephenson 4
Fairview: Makayla Latham 5, Kaitlyn Benson 4, Micah Means 2, Cassidy Hutchinson 2, Allie Scott 2.
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lacey Rice of Cold Springs - 13 points, 6-9 FGs, 1-4 treys, 2 rebounds, 3 assists.
UP NEXT FOR COLD SPRINGS: Vs. West Point in championship Saturday 2:30 p.m.
Photo of Cold Springs' Lacey Rice (00) looking to pass the ball to Brooklyn Crider (10).
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
Cullman County quarterfinal
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
# 4 Cold Springs 21 17 9 8 - 55 (20-5)
# 5 Holly Pond 0 11 14 18 - 43 (10-12)
Cold Springs: Camryn Crider 20, Elizabeth Hill 9, Lina Leickfield 10, Toni West 5, Neely Ellison 2, Kinley Campbell 1, Kylon Hamby 6, Aubrey Negron 2.
Holly Pond: Kara Hollis 15, Maddie Ham 12, Kirsten Campbell 8, Liza Miller 6, Maddie Heatherly 2, Sarah Finley 3.
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Camryn Crider of Cold Springs - 20 points, 7-10 FGs, 5-7 treys, 1-2 FTs, 1 rebound.
FLASH NOTES: A strong first half for the Lady Eagles did not stay on path in the second half.
In shutting out Holly Pond 21-0 through the first period and enjoying a comfortable 38-11 advantage at the half, the Lady Eagles' attack went in an opposite way from the opening half Wednesday night.
After shooting 16 of 31 in the opening half for 52 percent, the Lady Eagles were only seven of 22 for the final two quarters and zero for four in shots from three-point land.
Holly Pond, who was a very cold four of 17 by the break, changed the numbers in the second half, connecting on 48 percent of their shot attempts (12-25). Their three-point stroke was seven of 12 for the final half with Maddie Ham sinking four and three from Kara Hollis.
Lina Lieckfield came off the bench for Tammy West and made her first five shots in the game. She missed her final five, going 0 for 4 in the second half.
Elizabeth Hill was able to tally seven points in the second half, with the Holly Pond defense closing in on Camryn Crider. Crider got no three attempts in the last half and had three in the final 16:00.
The Lady Eagles had 12 assists by halftime on 16 made shots. In the second half, one assist on seven scores from the field.
Holly Pond outrebounded Cold Springs 20-11 in the second half. Hill had eight rebounds to go with four assists and seven blocked shots. Heatherly cleared eight shots for Holly Pond.
Cold Springs has won seven straight enroute to a semifinal matchup Thursday against No. 1 seed West Point at 6:15 from Tom Drake Coliseum. The game will be carried live on WKUL-FM.
The Lady Eagles are the third girls team in the county to reach 20 victories on the season joining Cullman (21-6) and West Point (20-5).
Wallace State Christmas Challenge (Girls)
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
Cold Springs 16 16 13 6 - 51 (12-4)
Lauderdale Co 8 17 9 2 - 36 (5-8)
COLD SPRINGS: Elizabeth Hill 18, Toni West 16, Camryn Crider 8, Neely Ellison 4 Kinley Campbell 2, Lina Leickfield 3.
LAUDERDALE CO: Ruthie Smith 14, Hannah Tate 9, Claudia Thompson 5, Callie Grisham 3, Sydney Maner 2, Gracelyn Morrison 2.
FLASH NOTES: A rare opportunity for the Lady Eagles to match up with 3A power Lauderdale County and for it to be a neutral site, Tom Drake Coliseum at Wallace State, made the contest very special.
Center Elizabeth Hill was off to a good start for coach Tammy West, putting in eight in the opening quarter. She had a trey in the second to finish with 11 by halftime. However, she picked up her third personal with 4 seconds left in the second and Lauderdale Co trimmed the deficit to 32-25.
That gave the visitors from Rogersville a lift, in starting the third with a 5-0 run and narrowing the gap to 32-30.
Cold Springs rose to the challenge by the play of point guard Toni West who produced eight of her team's 13 third period points and the narrow lead went up to 45-34 when the third expired.
Lauderdale County's shot was off in the fourth, getting one field goal and going zero for eight in three-point tries. Baskets by Neely Ellison, Hill and Crider was enough for the Lady Eagles to extend their current winning streak to six and drop the Lady Tigers to 5-8.
Lauderdale played in the Christmas Challenge Thursday, falling to Athens 44-38.
The challenge, played at Wallace State and sponsored by a local wings restaurant, consisted of 16 games in three days with eight of them in varsity girls.
A JV girls game was played on Friday prior to the varsity encounter, with Lauderdale County winning 35-25 over Cold Springs, breaking a 25-25 tie in the final 4:00 on a 10-0 run.
Up next for Cold Springs: At Winfield Christmas Tournament December 27-28.
AHSAA 1A/2A Cross Country Championship
At Oakville Mounds Park:
1. Cold Springs 34
2. Altamont 91
3. Hatton 92
4. Ohatchee 110
5. Holy Spirit 172
Ava Akridge 3rd, 21:07.27 Reagan Parris 4th 21:12.86, Ashleigh White 6th 21:17.96,
Emma Hancock 12th 21:57.94, Ciara Calvert 19th 22:40.50
Breia Smith - Cornerstone 20:57.82
1. Altamont 43
2. Cold Springs 61
3. Westbrook Christian 96
4. Ohatchee 117
5. Hatton 127
Trentan Williams 7th 17:11.10, Cole Akridge 10th 17:23.41, Jonathan Collett 11th 17:30.68, Will Grimmett 14th 17:42.39, Aaron Spurger 18th 18:04.53
Desai Archer - Altamont 16:31.17
Cullman County Cross Country Championships
At Cranford Stricklin Stadium - Cold Springs:
VARSITY GIRLS RESULTS:
1. Cold Springs 26
2. Holly Pond 41
3. Fairview 64
VARSITY GIRLS TOP 10:
1 Camilla Chambers - Holly Pond 19:41.93
2 Bijou Phillips - Good Hope 20:51.02
3 Ashleigh White - Cold Springs 21:28.31
4 Breanna Tankersley - Holly Pond 21:37.42
5 Ave Akridge - Cold Springs 21:38.80
6 Reagan Parris - Cold Springs 21:45.98
7 Abigail Kusz - Holly Pond 21:59.14
8 Malia Howell - Hanceville 22:22.85
9 Emma Hancock - Cold Springs 22:25.71
10 Alyssa Jackson - Cold Springs 22:41.98
1. Cold Springs 19
2. Fairview 50
3. Holly Pond 73
4. Vinemont 108
5. West Point 131
VARSITY TOP 10:
1 Aaron Brown - Hanceville 17:13.19
2. Trentan Williams - Cold Springs 17:13.58
3. Cole Akridge - Cold Springs 17:25.37
4. Johnathan Collett - Cold Springs 17:30.18
5. Peyton Bailey - Fairview 17:52.45
6 Aaron Spurger - Cold Springs 17:54.86
7. Parker Sellers - Holly Pond 18:05.60
8 Daniel Cook - Fairview 18:13.00
9. Will Grimmett - Cold Springs 18:15.86
10. Seth Walker - Cold Springs 18:16.77
FLASH NOTES: Team wise, Cold Springs continues to dominate the sport in the county. The Eagles earned their 15th consecutive county championship with the Lady Eagles winning the championship for the 13th straight year.
Individually, Hanceville's Aaron Brown edged out Cold Springs' Trentan Williams on his own course for the varsity crown. The margin of victory was a mere .39 seconds.
A close encounter took place in the girls race as Holly Pond's Camilla Chambers crossed ahead of Good Hope's talented runner, Bijou Phillips, by a mere minute.
Grace Lee of West Point won the JV girls 2.1 race with a time of 13:53.80, finishing in front of Vinemont's Kendall Harbison who had a time of 13:59.68.
The JV winner was Ethan Edgeworth of Good Hope, winning it at 12:09.35. Trynt Allen of West Point finished 2nd with a time of 12:25.00.
POSTSEASON NEXT WEEK:
The AHSAA cross country postseason will be next weekend.
The 3A, Section 3 and 4A, Section 3 meets will run at Fairview Town Park.
The 3A girls will be at 9:00 a.m., the 3A varsity at 9:30, the 4A girls at 10:00, the 4A varsiry at 10:30.
Hanceville, Holly Pond and Vinemont will represent the county in this section in 3A.
Fairview will face competition such as DAR, Oneonta, Ashville, Cherokee County, Hokes Bluff and others in the 4A run.
The AHSAA state championships will be November 10 at Oakville Indian Mounds Park in Lawrence County.
Photo 1: Cold Springs Eagles, county XC champion.
Photo 2: Cold Springs Lady Eagles, county XC champion.
Photo 3: Varsity girls Top 10.
Photo 4: Varsity Top 10.
Photos courtesy of Cold Springs Runners Club.