It wasn’t the result that Cloudland wanted, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort.
The Lady ‘Landers were unable to complete a rally as North Greene pulled away in the closing minutes to take a 55-42 victory in the Region 1-A Championship game at North Greene.
Cloudland will look to punch a ticket to Murfreesboro on Saturday at Oneida.
The first quarter was nearly disastrous for the Lady ‘Landers.
Jasmine Birchfield traded shots with North Greene in the opening minutes.
The Lady Huskies, however, reeled off the next 10 points as part of a 21-5 run to end the quarter.
That allowed NG to take a 25-10 advantage into the second quarter.
The Lady ‘Landers settled down and started getting comfortable in the second quarter.
After Saharra McKinney opened the quarter with a free throw, Birchfield scored six of the next seven points as Cloudland closed the gap to seven points. NG added a pair of free throws with just over a minute left to play, but Ella Benfield scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play to pull within 28-22 at the half.
Cloudland held North Greene without a field goal in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, the Lady Huskies opened the scoring with a jumper, but Cloudland continued to cut into the lead.
Mandy Benfield and Birchfield sparked an 8-2 run to close the gap to 32-30. North Greene’s Shelby Davenport scored the next six points, but McKinney and Benfield combined for a 6-0 run to trim the lead again.
North Greene added a free throw in the final minute to take a 39-36 advantage into the final quarter.
In the final quarter, Birchfield added a pair of free throws to close Cloudland within one point with 6:58 left to play.
The Lady Huskies used a quick 5-0 run to extend the lead. Cloudland was unable to close the gap again as NG ended the game on a 16-4 run to end the game.
Birchfield finished with 22 points to lead all scorers. E. Benfield added 12 points, while M. Benfield and McKinney had four points apiece.
Birchfield, E. Benfield, and M. Benfield represented Cloudland on the All-Region Tournament team.
Breezy Savage finished with 19 points to lead North Greene. Davenport added 16 points., and was named the most valuable player for the tournament.
Haleigh Bernard, Brooklyn Anderson, and Savage represented North Greene on the All-Tournament team.
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