The Cloudland boys’ basketball team was unable to find some late minute magic on Friday night. However, the Lady ‘Landers made sure they didn’t need any last second magic.
The Lady ‘Landers rolled to a 65-43 victory over University High on Friday night in Roan Mountain, but the ‘Landers were unable to shake off a sluggish second quarter as they fell 65-61 to the Jr. Bucs.
In the girls’ game, Cloudland saw Peyton Johnson score 10 points in the first quarter to power Cloudland to a 12-10 lead. Johnson added eight more points in the second quarter while Faith Russell tossed in six more points. The Lady ‘Landers limited the Lady Jr. Bucs to just four points in the quarter to take a 26-14 lead into the locker room at the half.
Cloudland continued to control the game in the third and fourth quarter as they outscored UH by 11 points.
“We made it a goal at the Christmas tournament that we had to be better on the boards and better taking care of the ball,” Cloudland Head Coach Matt Birchfield said. “I thought that in the last two games we have done a much better job at that. We talked about getting the ball inside to Peyton, she’s been playing real well in the post and she got us off to a good start.”
Johnson led the way with 21 points and Russell had 15 points. Kendall Mull tossed in nine points, all of which came in the third quarter, while Johanna Johnson also scored seven points in the game.
In the boys’ game, Cloudland saw Jesse Potter score six points in the first quarter, but the Jr. Bucs maintained a slim 14-13 lead heading into the second quarter. Cloudland was limited to just 11 points in the second quarter as UH took advantage to take a 35-24 lead into the half.
The ‘Landers, however, came out of the locker room fired up in the third quarter as Preston Benfield led the charge as Cloudland pulled within one heading into the final quarter. The final quarter saw Cloudland try to get back in front with chances late, but the Jr. Bucs held on pick up the road conference victory.
P. Benfield finished with 24 points to pace Cloudland, while Dalton Vines tossed in nine points. Potter finished with eight points, while Zac Benfield scored seven points.
“The difference in the game was we didn’t do the things we need to defensively in the first half,” Cloudland Head Coach Gary Harrison said. “We can’t expect to do well playing off our offense. We have to play off our defense. We did in the second half, we did a lot better. A few times we had it closed to one point but the thing about it is we got to do a better job over 32 minutes.”
The ‘Landers and Lady ‘Landers return to action on Saturday with a trip to Happy Valley