It was a border battle inside Sonny Smith Gymnasium and ended in a varsity draw.
Cloudland picked up a thrilling 53-49 victory in the girls’ game over neighboring Avery County (N.C.) while the ‘Landers dropped a 91-75 decision to the Vikings.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Vikings fired the first shots as they jumped out to a 9-3 lead.Trinity Vines and Lisa Ellis, however, answered as CHS closed the gap to 9-7 after a quarter of play.
The Lady ‘Landers used points from Abbey Gouge and Stacia Wilson to take a lead before Avery answered. The teams swapped points for most of the second before a 6-1 CHS run helped give Cloudland a 23-19 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Cloudland maintained a six-point advantage for the first four minutes. However, Avery used a 12-2 run over the remainder of the quarter to take a 38-34 lead into the final eight minutes.
After the Lady Vikings maintained a seven-point lead, Cloudland came back with a vengeance.
Shian Strickland and Vines hit big shots and a DonRae Taylor jumper pulled CHS back within one-point.
The closing minutes of the game saw the game get rough as Cloudland held on for the win in the closing seconds.
Strickland had 16 points to lead Cloudland. Johanna Johnson added nine points. Gouge had eight points, while Taylor tallied seven points.
In the boys’ game, the ‘Landers were unable to keep pace with an Avery third quarter surge.
Cloudland stayed toe-to-toe with the Vikings early as Brinkley Mull knocked down a trey to give CHS a 19-16 lead of the first quarter.
The ‘Landers extended the lead to nine points in the opening minutes of the second quarter. However, Avery battled back to take the lead and slowly extended the advantage to a 47-40 halftime lead.
After Robert Leeper opened the third quarter scoring, Avery went on a 12-0 run to take control.
Leeper finished with 20 points for Cloudland, while Jason Potter tossed in 15 points. Preston Benfield had 12 points. Mull tallied nine points.