In a defensive battle, Cloudland had just enough offense at the end.
The Lady ‘Landers earned a spot in the District 1-A Championship game with a 35-26 victory over Unaka on Saturday at Sullivan North. With the win, Cloudland will take on North Greene in Monday’s championship game, while Unaka will take on Hampton in Monday’s consolation game.
Neither team was able to get much going in the first quarter.
Trinity Vines opened the scoring, but Jada Whitehead answered on the other end. After Stacia Wilson regained the CHS lead, Whitehead knocked down a pair of free throws to even things back up. Mandy Benfield scored in the closing seconds of the quarter to give CHS a 6-4 advantage after eight minutes of play.
Cydney Forney opened the second quarter scoring for Unaka as the Lady Rangers scored the first eight points of the quarter – including points from Savannah Tipton and Madison Pierce. Cloudland, however, answered with an 8-0 run of their own to end the quarter as Jasmine Birchfield and Megan Lunsford provided the spark as the Lady ‘Landers held a 16-12 lead at the half.
Myah Parlier took over for Unaka in the third quarter as she scored six consecutive points over the first six minutes. Birchfield snapped a Cloudland dry spell and a Gracie Freeman trey gave CHS a 21-20 lead going to the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter, Cloudland and Unaka traded shots to open the quarter before the Lady ‘Landers were able to open up a little separation in the final minutes. The Lady Rangers closed the gap to four points, but Vines sealed the game for Cloudland on the free throw line.
Vines had 10 points to lead Cloudland, while Lunsford added eight points. Birchfield tossed in seven points for the CHS cause.
Parlier finished with 15 points to lead Unaka.
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