In a thriller, Cloudland had nerves of steel on their side.
Bentley Gilbert hit a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining to lift the ‘Landers to a wild 45-43 victory over Sullivan North in the District 1-A Quarterfinals at Daniel Boone High School on Friday night.
Cloudland, who clinched a berth in the Region 1-A tournament, advances to play Hampton in Saturday’s semifinals. That game is slated for a 4:30p tipoff.
The opening minutes was a game of runs.
Cloudland opened with back-to-back 3-pointers, but the Raiders answered with a 10-0 run to take the lead. Hayden Shell knocked down the third Cloudland trey of the quarter to cut the deficit to 10-9 going to the second quarter.
After Hunter Shell hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter, the teams traded shots for the first part of the frame. Sullivan North, however, ended the half on a 4-0 run over the final five minutes to take an 18-17 advantage into the half.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the second half.
CHS opened the third quarter with a 7-3 run to regain the lead. North answered as they reeled off 11 of the next 13 points to take a six-point advantage. The ‘Landers answered the call once again as Hu. Shell hit a pair of 3-pointers to end the quarter to trim the Raider lead to 34-32 at the end of the third quarter.
Neither team was able to get any separation in the fourth.
Cloudland regained the lead back-to-back shots in the opening minutes of the fourth, but North fought back to take a 41-39 lead just past the midpoint of the quarter. After the teams traded a shot apiece, Cloudland tied the game with a pair of Elijah Blair free throws with a minute left.
CHS nabbed a steal on the other end and looked to hold the last shot, but North was able to get the ball back with 12 seconds remaining. An errant North shot in the closing seconds set-up Gilbert’s game-winning shot after he was fouled on the rebound.
Hu. Shell led the way with 19 points, while E. Blair scored 10 points. Gilbert finished with nine points.
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