The ‘Landers had been searching for a confidence building win. That is exactly what Cloudland got on Friday night.
The ‘Landers dispatched North Greene 54-41 to snap a four-game losing streak. The Lady ‘Landers, however, were unable to complete a furious comeback in a 48-41 loss to the Lady Huskies.
In the varsity nightcap, it was a back and forth affair early on as NG held a 10-7 advantage with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter. Zac Benfield sparked an 8-0 run to power the ‘Landers to a 15-10 lead after a quarter of play. After a North Greene 3-pointer opened the second quarter, Cloudland ended the quarter on a 6-2 run to hold a 21-15 lead at the half.
After a sluggish start to the third quarter that saw the Huskies pull within six points, Preston Benfield scored seven straight points for Cloudland to push CHS to a double-digit lead. Benfield and Dalton Vines added baskets in the final minute to take a 41-31 lead into the final stanza.
North Greene quickly trimmed the lead to six points to open the final period, but Jonah Woods drained a 3-pointer to snap the NG run and spark a 6-0 CHS run. That would be the difference as the ‘Landers kept North Greene at bay to preserve the win.
Dalton Vines led the way with 12 points. P. Benfield added 11 points, while Chris Wagoner added 10 points. Z. Benfield finished with eight points.
The girls’ game saw Cloudland jump out early as Kendall Mull scored six straight points to push Cloudland to a 9-1 lead three minutes into the game. Kaitlyn Weems, however, answered for the Lady Huskies with five points to cut the CHS lead to 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
North Greene cut the lead to two points to open the second quarter before Mull knocked down another 3-pointer. The Lady Huskies, however, took a one-point lead after a quick 6-0 run capped by three Lauren Baxter points. Johanna Johnson hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to pull the Lady ‘Landers within 18-17 at the half.
Mull opened the third quarter with a trey and Peyton Johnson pushed the Lady ‘Landers back into the lead with a jumper. However a 10-2 North Greene run powered the Lady Huskies to take a 29-28 lead into the final quarter.
Weems scored seven straight points to open the final period as North Greene took the game’s first double-digit lead. The Lady ‘Landers, however, weren’t finished as Faith Russell drained back-to-back 3-pointers to pull Cloudland within three points. That was as close as Cloudland could get though as North Greene iced the game on the free throw line.
Mull finished with 21 points, while Russell added 10 points. Weems paced North Greene with 20 points.