Bulldogs, Lady ‘Landers take statement wins in county clash

The Cloudland girls basketball team and the Hampton boys basketball team picked up statements on Friday night.

The Lady ‘Landers rolled to a 60-31 victory over the Lady Bulldogs in front of a packed Sonny Smith Gymnasium, while the Bulldogs used a strong second quarter to pull away and never look back in 85-57 victory over the ‘Landers.

In the varsity opener, Cloudland seized control early while both teams struggled with early foul calls.

The Lady Bulldogs scored the first point of the game with a free throw, but Cloudland reeled off the next seven points. Cloudland limited Hampton to just one field goal in the first eight minutes – which came seven minutes into the game. That allowed the Lady ‘Landers to take a 15-4 lead into the second quarter – in part to five ports from Megan Lunsford and four points from Trinity Vines.

Hampton’s Stephanie Campbell hit a bucket to open the second quarter, but Cloudland was able to increase the lead to 16 points over the quarter as Stacia Wilson scored eight points in the quarter. Hannah Collins and Brooke Hughes hit shorts to help stem the tide, and Cloudland took a 31-17 lead into the locker room.

The Cloudland defense clamped down on the Lady Bulldogs as CHS went on a 23-3 run to open the third quarter. That proved to be too much for Hampton to battle back from as Cloudland kept the Lady Bulldogs at bay to secure the win in the fourth quarter.

Cloudland was led by Wilson’s 16 points, while Mandy Benfield had 10 points in the win. Gracie Freeman added nine points, while Lunsford had eight points.

For Hampton, Campbell led the way with eight points, while Collins and Hughes added seven points each.

In the boys’ game, the opening quarter was a tight battle.

The teams traded points in the early going as points were hard to come by in the opening minutes. Josh Blair had four points in the frame for Cloudland, while Caleb Oaks and Rocky Cory added four apiece for the Bulldogs to help spark a late run that gave Hampton an 18-10 lead going to the second quarter.

The second quarter proved to be the difference maker. Hampton erupted for 30 points in the second quarter as Jordan Bentley and Garrett Vines hit timely 3-pointers to help spark the run. Cloudland was held to one Robert Leeper basket from the field as HHS outscored the ‘Landers 30-9 in the quarter. That gave Hampton a 48-19 lead.

Leeper and Cloudland didn’t go down without a fight in the second half as CHS trimmed the lead. However, Hampton answers each Cloudland run over the final 16 minutes to secure the win.

Bentley finished with 24 points to lead Hampton, while Oaks scored 14 points. Hill tossed in 13 points. Conner Jones and Mitchell Tolley had 10 and 11 points, respectively.

Cloudland was paced by Leeper’s 16 points. Josh Blair tallied 12 points, while Hunter Shell and Elijah Blair had seven points each.

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