Bulldogs hold off late ‘Lander charge; Defense propels Lady ‘Landers to win



A night of runs went in the favor of the Hampton boys and Cloudland girls Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs held off a fast and furious charge from Cloudland to take a 62-58 victory over the ‘Landers inside Sonny Smith Gymnasium. In the girls’ game, the Lady ‘Landers rolled to a 54-28 win over the Lady Bulldogs.

The boys’ contest was a hard-fought rivalry game.

Hampton jumped out to a 6-0 lead before CHS quickly trimmed it to one point. After a quick HHS run pushed the lead back to five points, the ‘Landers ended the quarter on a 5-2 run to pull back to 15-12 after eight complete.

Garrett Vines kicked off the second quarter with a Trey while the Bulldogs went on a 12-2 run – including an old-fashioned 3-point play from Jordan Bentley – to push the lead to 12 points.

Cloudland snapped the run with four points from Conner Birchfield, but the Bulldogs maintained a 30-19 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Cloudland came out of the gates hot.

Hayden Shell and Birchfield scored five first-quarter points, while Caleb Oaks and Hunter Shell traded points to snap the run. A Hunter Shell bucket pulled CHS within two points, but Hampton responded with six straight points from Conor Jones to jump-start a 15-2 run to end the quarter for the Bulldogs. That allowed HHS to maintain a 16-point advantage going to the fourth.

The final quarter saw the offensives trade punches in a game that had a tournament atmosphere.

Cloudland scored 11 of the first 14 points in the quarter to cut into the Hampton lead. After the teams traded points in the middle of the quarter, the Bulldogs were able to hold onto the win in a frantic final two minutes that saw Cloudland end the game on a 10-2 run as they closed within four points in the final 30 seconds.

Morgan Lyons had 12 points to lead Hampton, while Rocky Croy tallied 11 points. Vines and Jones finished with 10 points apiece.

Birchfield led Cloudland with 18 points. Bentley Gilbert and Hu. Shell had nine points apiece. Ha. Shell scored eight points in the game.

In the girls’ contest, Cloudland used a strong defensive performance to set the tone.

Hampton’s Destini Millhorn and Cloudland’s Gracie Freeman swapped early shots as the game was knotted at 3-3 halfway through the first quarter. Mandy Benfield gave CHS a spark in the pain as she reeled off six points in an 8-0 run, and a pair of 3-pointers from senior Kenzie Birchfield gave Cloudland a 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Nicole Guy got Hampton on the board to open the second stanza, but that would be the lone field goal that the Lady Bulldogs would have in the quarter. Cloudland saw Heaven Caraway jump-start an 11-2 run to end the quarter with a 3-pointer.

Cloudland led 28-10 at the half.

After the teams traded 6-0 runs, Hampton’s Hazen Brummit and Milhorn sparked a quick 8-0 run for the Lady Bulldogs to trim the deficit. Cloudland, however, used back-to-back buckets from Freeman to stop the run and maintain a 42-28 lead after three complete.

The fourth quarter was all Cloudland as the Lady ‘Landers pitched a shutout in the quarter.

Freeman finished with a game-high 19 points, while Jasmine Birchfield and K. Birchfield had nine points apiece. Benfield finished with eight points.

Madi McClain had eight points to pace the Lady Bulldogs. Brummit and Brooke Heaton and six and five points, respectively.

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