In typical Watauga Valley action, it certainly wasn’t the prettiest of games. Unfortunately for Cloudland, it didn’t go in their favor either.
The ‘Landers forced overtime but was unable to surge ahead as they fell 49-44 to South Greene on Rebel Hill, the same Rebels squad that upset Hampton on Tuesday night in a game that also went to overtime.
The girls’ game saw Cloudland fall behind early and never recovered as they fell 84-35.
The early going of the boys’ game saw South Greene edge ahead while limiting Cloudland to just one field goal in the opening quarter. David Worley scored five points in the frame to give South Greene a 12-5 lead after one.
Cloudland, however, began digging their way out of the hole as they took a 18-17 lead with just over a minute to play in the first half. The Rebels took a 22-21 lead at the half off a Jeffery Zavaleta 3-pointer.
In the third quarter, South Greene used a late five point run sparked by Todd Brown jumper and Trey Brown jumper as they held a seven-point lead heading into the fourth.
The Highlanders, however, had another run in them. After Jesse Potter hit a trey with 3:35 to play that pulled the ‘Landers within one point, Tr. Brown countered with a lay-up. Cloudland’s Colby Birchfield cut the gap to one point with 1:23 on the clock with a tough putback, but To. Brown pushed the lead back to 41-38 with two clutch free throws on the other end. Cloudland’s Potter struck again with 17 seconds left to force the extra period.
In overtime, the Rebels took care of business without hitting a field goal as they went 8-for-8 from the free throw line, while limiting the Highlanders to just three points.
Preston Benfield and Potter had 15 and 14 points, respectively, to lead Cloudland.
Nathan Hall and To. Brown led South Greene with 11 points.
In the girls’ game, the game was tied in the early minutes, but South Greene shots gave the Lady Rebels a 14-9 lead after a quarter of play. From there, it was all South Greene as the squad went on a 13-0 run over a six minute period in the second, and nearly repeated the feat with a 24-2 run to open the third quarter.
Peyton Johnson and Kendall Mull led Cloudland with 11 points apiece
“We’ve talked about it all week and the difference was turnovers. They force you defensively to turn the ball over and we did. Their defense is really good and we knew if you turn the ball over we were going to struggle. We had 12 turnovers in the first quarter and dug ourselves in a hole, and at South Greene you better not dig yourself in a hole.”
“We were a little flat. It has been a tough week for us. We just never got anything going and they took us out of a lot of things that we do.”
-Cloudland Girls Head Coach Matt Birchfield
“The effort was there throughout. The only thing effort wise we didn’t think was there was we didn’t rebound early like we wanted to. I think if we would have rebounded early like we did late we could have gotten out to a lead. We gave up seven offensive rebounds in the first quarter, and it feels like they scored off every one of those.
“The kids battled and talked on defense. They did a pretty good job. We have a sick bunch of kids but they fought and fought, and we were there at the end of it. It comes down to a few small execution things and the ball game is different.”
-Cloudland Boys Head Coach Gary Harrison