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COUNTY TOURNAMENT (VARSITY BOYS): No. 6 Holly Pond 62, No. 3 Hanceville 59

Jan. 23—The folks who stayed late at Tom Drake Coliseum on Tuesday night were treated to a game they won't soon forget.

But when all was said and done — 68 fouls and 94 free throws — it was Holly Pond's varsity boys who came out on top.

The No. 6 Broncos erased an 8-point deficit with less than a minute remaining in regulation to force overtime and then outlasted No. 3 Hanceville 62-59 to advance at this year's Cullman County Basketball Tournament.

Holly Pond trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter but continued to chip away and — with the help of nine straight missed free throws by Hanceville — eventually tied the outing at 51 following a pair of technical free throws by Kollin Brown with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Brown then scored the Broncos' first seven points in the extra period before fouling out with his team ahead 58-53.

From there, it was battle of wills.

The Bulldogs sank a few free throws to make it 61-58, but both squads struggled from the line down the stretch — the teams combined to miss 40 attempts from the charity stripe — with Holly Pond holding a 62-59 lead with less than 30 seconds in the game.

One defensive stop later, however, the Broncos celebrated a well-earned victory.

Holly Pond will face the winner of No. 2 West Point and No. 7 Cold Springs on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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Top Scorers

Holly Pond: Kollin Brown (34), Boston Gibbs (12), Cade Allbright (8)

Hanceville: Konnor Helms (18), Peyton Twilley (10), JT Davis (8)

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Coach Speak

"We got down 18-1 against Decatur Heritage the other night and came back and won by 12 or 13. I told people that and they didn't believe me. I'm new to Holly Pond — I'm trying to learn these players and they're trying to learn me — but I told them after that game I will never, ever doubt you again. I know you will never give up. So in that fourth quarter, I told them that again." — Holly Pond's Tim Willoughby

"Everyone is going to try hard on offense and try hard to hit their foul shots, but 35 years in this business and what makes it miserable is when you go home losing a game because they missed and you didn't get a rebound. That's the saddest feeling I've ever had as a coach — those kinds of losses. I was just reminding those guys to rebound, rebound and rebound." — Willoughby