The Lady ‘Landers kept battling until the end. Unfortunately, South Greene held strong.
Cloudland dug themselves out of an early hole but came up short as they fell 57-46 to No. 6 South Greene in the Region 1-A semifinals at Chuckey-Doak High School on Friday night.
South Greene controlled the opening minutes by jumping out to a 10-1 lead over the first four minutes. Peyton Johnson hit a tough shot inside, and Faith Russell added a basket to pull Cloudland within seven points with just under three minutes to play in the half. Kendall Mull scored the next eight Lady ‘Landers points to pull CHS within 19-13 at the end of the period.
Johnson opened the scoring in the second, but the Lady Rebels pushed the lead out to 11 points. DonRae Taylor snapped the run with a long jumper, and Mull added her second trey of the game. The teams traded points as South Greene pushed the lead back out to 10 points. However, Mull hit a pair of free throws, and Taylor added a pair from the free throw line to help CHS close the gap to 36-29 at the half.
Mull led Cloudland in the first half with 17 points, while Ashton Wykle paced the Lady Rebels with 14 points.
The Lady ‘Landers made a move in the third quarter. Mull stepped back and knocked down a 3-pointer and Johnson added a layup to cut the SG lead to 36-34 just over a minute into the quarter. South Greene, however, had an answer by outscoring CHS 14-4 the rest of the way. Johnson and Mull each had points during the period for Cloudland.
After the first two and half minutes of the fourth quarter went scoreless, South Greene’s Peyton Williams scored the first points of the game. Mull and Russell, however, answered for Cloudland to keep the Lady ‘Landers in scoring position. Russell added another bucket to pull CHS within eight with just over three minutes to play. However, South Greene closed the game on a 5-2 run to end the game and take the victory.
“We knew it was going to be intense,” Cloudland Head Coach Matt Birchfield said. “We went three or four possessions there and couldnt score, and when you do that against good teams they are going to make you pay. Then they got on a run and got us down 10, and you have to play back into their hands and they are tough when you have to play into their hands.”
Mull closed her storied high school career with a game-high 24 points. Johnson tallied eight points, while Russell wrapped up her career with six points.
“It was a super performance and nothing short of what I expected from her,” Birchfield said of Mull. “Being a senior, she knew what was in store and she played well.
Wykle led South Greene with 18 points.
The Lady Rebels advance to face the winner of the Hampton/North Greene game on Saturday night.