After a slow start, the Highlanders nearly righted the ship. However, Johnson County had just enough to hold on.
Cloudland fell 62-53 to the visiting Longhorns on Monday night in Roan Mountain.
The ‘Landers saw Johnson County open the game 14-4 run and trailed 19-6 at the end of the first quarter. However, Cloudland began to dig themselves out as Zac Benfield and Preston Benfield hit big time shots to pull the ‘Landers within eight points at the half.
After the teams traded shots to open the second half, Johnson County reeled off a 9-2 run, but the Highlanders saw Z. Benfield kick off a 6-2 run off a steal and layup. The final quarter saw the ‘Landers close the gap to nine points in the closing minutes with a 3-pointer for Jesse Potter and Z. Benfield. However, the Longhorns added an easy shot to snap the Cloudland run and preserve the win.
P. Benfield had a team-high 17 points for the ‘Landers, while Z. Benfield tallied 14 points. Colby Birchfield had 11 points.
Chase Phillips had 18 points to pace the Longhorns.
“We had a slow start and a lot of that is rhythm and routine We had a lot of unforced turnovers early in the game, and I think we will get that with chemistry and rhythm. Defensively, we lost a few rotations, but we played really hard on defense. If we cut out the turnovers and a few defensive mistakes, we are right in the ball game. We will get better as we go.”
“Early in the game, we just struggled scoring. As the game went on, we got better and hopefully that is a sign of things to come. We have to get some rhythm offensively,and I saw more positives tonight than negatives.”
-Cloudland Head Coach Gary Harrison