— Athens punched its ticket to the Northwest Regional Tournament Friday night with a 57-39 win over Cullman. Jackson Pettus poured in 20 points and Nathaniel “Giddy” Potts recorded another double-double to lead Athens in the win.
Cullman led 15-10 after one quarter of play, but it was all Athens from there. The home team finally took the lead with when Pettus hit a three-point basket to give Athens 18-17 with just over three minutes to play until halftime.
Athens closed the half on a 12-0 run to secure a double-digit lead at the break. Pettus shot 3 for 4 from three-point range while Potts was 4 of 8 from long distance to help Athens pull away. Potts scored 8 of the teams 10 points in the first quarter and Athens was 50 percent from three-point range as a team.
The second half was all Athens as the Golden Eagles pulled away in the final quarter thanks to some clutch free throw shooting from Pettus, who was 7 for 10 from the line.
Athens (24-7) advance to the Northwest Regional at Wallace State Community College where they will face Parker (17-7) Tuesday, Feb. 19.
East Limestone 44
Trailing by eight in the fourth quarter, East Limestone finished the game on a 15-2 run to put away Russellville and advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament next week. Jordan Gandy led the way once again for East with 18 points and seven rebounds.
The home team started the game slow, allowing Russellville to take a 14-4 lead after one quarter of play. The Indians fought back and were down by just two points at halftime.
The game went back-and-forth in the second half until East made one final run in the closing minutes to seal the win. Blake Tucker added 10 points and seven rebounds for East.
East Limestone (20-12) will play 5A No. 1 Wenonah (30-2) in Hanceville on Tuesday, Feb. 19