The Cloudland basketball programs avenged early season losses on Monday night.
The ‘Landers methodically pulled away to take a 59-39 victory over neighboring Avery County (N.C.) inside Sonny Smith Gymnasium, while the Lady ‘Landers dominated the third quarter and never looked back in a 65-49 win.
In the boys’ game, Cloudland jumped out early.
Hunter Shell hit a quick 3-pointer to kick off the quarter. Shell would add two more 3-pointers over the first eight minutes to lift the ‘Landers to a 15-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Robert Leeper and Hayden Shell hit big shots for Cloudland in the second to snap Avery runs as CHS maintained a 31-17 lead at the break.
Hu. Shell got back in the groove with three 3-pointers during the third quarter. Dillon Johnson added another trey as CHS outscored the Vikings 15-10 in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the ‘Landers saw Avery go on a quick run to open the quarter, but the CHS defense clamped down to preserve the win.
Hu. Shell had 23 points – including seven 3-pointers – to lead the way for Cloudland, while Leeper had 12 points. In all, eight ‘Landers reached the scorebook.
For the Cloudland girls, the first half was a a tussle.
After the teams traded points for most of the opening eight minutes, Cloudland took a 10-9 lead with Stacia Wilson jumper. Gracie Freeman kick started the second quarter with a 3-pointer and the Lady ‘Landers got a little separation from the visiting Lady Vikings. Avery, however, used a late run of their own to take a 25-24 lead into the half.
In the third quarter, Cloudland left no doubt.
CHS opened the quarter on a 19-1 run over the first five minutes of the quarter. After ACHS put four points on the board, Megan Lunsford drained a 3-pointer to snap the run. That gave Cloudland a 17-point advantage starting the fourth quarter. From there, the Lady ‘Landers continued to maintain control to secure the win.
Wilson had 14 points to lead the way. Mandy Benfield added 12 points to the CHS cause, while Lunsford tallied 11 points. Trinity Vines had 10 points in the win.
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