Holly Pond Broncos:
Coach: Mike Bates
Record at Holly Pond: 14-38 (6th year)
2017 record: 7-4 (3-3 in 3A, R 5)
2018: Holly Pond is in 3A, R 5 with Midfield, Hanceville, Fultondale, J.B. Pennington, Locust Fork, Vinemont.
Key personnel returning: QB Kyler Chaney, RB Jeremiah Holmes, DB Brody Rowell, WR Alex Corneglio, TE Gabe Fortner, OLB Jesse Day, LB Issac Ludwig, RB Levi Boatright, G Riley Gillilan.
Outlook: Striving for three consecutive winning seasons is the goal for the Broncos in 2018. Holly Pond returns a tremendous leader in Chaney and the rest of the unit follows his lead.
The Broncos have gone 13-7 in the last 20 regular season games, climbing tremendously from a 1-29 record between 2013 to 2015.
Playing a West Point squad to a 21-21 tie in the spring game allowed the Broncos to show an effort against a stout county foe.
Holly Pond sees a majority of opponents from Region 5 remain in this lineup from the past two years. A newcomer that will present challenges to many will be Midfield, from the Birmingham area.
Fultondale and J.B. Pennington were solid in 2017 and expectations remain that way for the upcoming season.
Trying to keep Mike Bates' Broncos from having additional success in the region will be Hanceville, Vinemont and Locust Fork.
Outside the region, the Broncos resume their rivalries with New Hope on opening night while Ider comes on the schedule for the first time.
The Broncos end September with a game at Thomas-Michelfelder Field vs. Danville. These two tangle for the first time since 2007. It will be the 58th meeting for the Broncos in their war with Fairview. Holly Pond came through in 2017 to end 10 consecutive victories by their rivals on the East side.
Now the Broncos look for consecutive wins against the Aggies for the first time since 2004 when they earned three straight in this confrontation.
Photos of Holly Pond practice August 14. Photos by Johnny Thornton
Holly Pond spring sports update.
4-14, 0-3 in 3A, A 11 (As of 03/28)
Vs. J.B. Pennington (3A, A 11) April 2 4:00
At J.B. Pennington (3A, A 11) April 3 (DH) 4:00
At Vinemont April 6 6:30
4-6, 1-2 in 3A, A 11 (As of 03/28)
Vs. Danville April 2 4:30
Vs. Locust Fork (3A, A 11) April 3 4:30
At Cold Springs April Fools Invite April 5 4:00
Cullman County varsity championship
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
#1 Holly Pond 18 18 20 10 - 66 (23-3)
#2 West Point 11 10 14 11 - 46 (14-13)
HOLLY POND: Griffin Morris 20, Jake Harris 11, Ben Jones 5, Gunter Hollis 2, Kyler Chaney 5, McKinley Garrett 6, Garrett Rowell 2, Tyler Boatright 5.
Team totals: 15-28 FGs, 10-20 3s, 7-13 FTs, 28 rebounds, 8 assists.
WEST POINT: Austin Dubberly 10, Kolton Sapp 8, Skylar Bowers 3, Whitt Laney 8, Rylan Jones 2, Colby Sullins 6, Tyler Thompson 3.
Team totals: 17-39 FGs, 3-10 3s, 2-9 FTs, 24 rebounds, 6 assists.
STAR-STUDDED PERFORMER: Griffin Morris of Holly Pond - 20 points, 8-13 FGs, 4-6 treys, 1 rebound, 3 assists.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: Griffin Morris, Zach Shaw - Holly Pond, Luke Yarbrough, Bryson Fletcher - Fairview, Colby Sullins, Kolton Sapp - West Point, Issac McDonald - Good Hope.
JOE SHULTS AWARD WINNER: Griffin Morris of Holly Pond
ELI THOMAS SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: Issac McDonald of Good Hope
ALL-COUNTY: Katch Johnson - Vinemont, Hunter McClendon - Cold Springs, Austin Dubberly - West Point, Issac McDonald - Good Hope, Kolton Sapp - West Point, Griffin Morris- Holly Pond, Bryson Fletcher - Fairview, Luke Yarbrough - Fairview, Cole Maddox - Good Hope, McKinley Garrett - Holly Pond, RJ Evans - Hanceville
Photo 1: County champion Holly Pond Broncos (Photo by Cullman Co Athletics)
Photo 2: County runner-up West Point Warriors (Photo by Cullman Co Athletics)
Photo 3: All-tournament team (Photo by Cullman County Athletics)
Photo 4: All-County team (Photo by Cullman County Athletics)
Photo 5: Eli-Thomas Scholarship winner Issac McDonald of Good Hope (Photo by Cullman County Athletics)
Photo 6: Joe Shults Award winner Griffin Morris of Holly Pond (Photo by Cullman County Athletics)
Cullman County varsity semifinal
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
# 1 Holly Pond 32 16 12 18 - 78 (22-3)
#4 Fairview 21 15 9 19 - 64 (11-13)
HOLLY POND: Griffin Morris 21, Zach Shaw 17, Jake Harris 9, Gunter Hollis 4, Kyler Chaney 8, McKinley Garrett 10, Garrett Rowell 3, Tyler Boatright 6.
FAIRVIEW: Bryson Fletcher 28, Luke Yarbrough 15, Cameron Guthrie 12, Sawyer Daniel 1, Truman Boyd 7, Austin Turner 1.
STAR-STUDDED PEFORMER: Griffin Morris of Holly Pond - 21 points, 9-17 FGs, 1-5 treys, 2-2 FTs, 5 rebounds, 4 assists.
FLASH NOTES: Holly Pond's running game was at an astounding pace with 32 points coming in the opening quarter. The Broncos were 13 of 16 from the field eight minutes into the game and 19 of 28 by halftime, shooting at a blazing 67 percent.
The pace slowed down during the third with the Broncos scoring a dozen and the Aggies just getting nine. But Holly Pond maintained a double-digit lead to extend its current winning streak to eight, improve to 6-0 in the month of January.
Mitch Morris' squad entered the county tournament on the rise to No. 5 in the state 3A prep poll. The Broncos have been ranked for the last three weeks, going from ninth to seventh to third, with their sights set on a higher number when the next ranking comes out on Wednesday.
The contest was a shootout between Bryson Fletcher of Fairview and Holly Pond's Griffin Morris. Fletcher produced 28 points in his final county tournament game on 11 of 14 shooting, going three for three from long range.
Morris was a 52 percent shooter for the game on nine of 17, but very effective in short range shots as he knocked down eight of 12. Morris had 17 by the time the game reached halftime.
Zach Shaw contributed five of eight from the line with Jake Harris four of five in free throw shooting. McKinley Garrett had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, going two for two from the stripe. He worked hard on the defensive side pulling down seven Fairview shots.
Up next for Holly Pond: Vs. West Point in championship Saturday 7:00 p.m.
(Live on WKUL-FM)
Holly Pond's Griffin Morris (12) watches Fairview's Luke Yarbrough shoot from the foul line in the 1st half. Yarbrough would go eight of nine from the line, scoring 15 points. Morris had a team high 21 points in a 78-64 Holly Pond semifinal victory.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton