Cloudland had an upset on their mind on Friday night, and made sure South Greene knew it.
The ‘Landers jumped out to a 15-4 lead and overpowered the Rebels to take a 70-42 victory in Roan Mountain.
In the girls’ game, the Lady ‘Landers were unable to keep pace late in their upset bid as they fell 61-53 to South Greene.
The boys’ game saw Cloudland come out of the gate firing on all cylinders as Preston Benfield scored nine early points to power the ‘Landers to a 15-4 advantage midway through the first quarter. After Logan Tweed hit a trey for the Rebels, Cloudland pushed the lead to 20-9 on three straight points from Noah Arnett. CHS held a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second stanza, Dalton Vines and Benfield hit opening minute shots to give the ‘Landers their largest lead of the night at 12 points. South Greene trimmed the gap to nine points, but buckets by Z. Benfield and P. Benfield as well as two Vines free throws helped Cloudland maintain a 34-24 lead at the half.
The ‘Landers quickly gained separation in the third quarter with jumpers from Benfield and Chris Wagoner. Cloudland kept the Rebels at bay to take a 48-36 lead into the final period.
After Jonah Wood drained a jumper to open the fourth quarter, South Greene cut the lead to 10 points. However, Vines scored on back-to-back buckets and that sparked a 20-2 run to cap off the game and secure the win for Cloudland.
P. Benfield had a game-high 29 points, while Vines tossed in 17 points. Z. Benfield scored 10 points in the win. Tweed led South Greene with 14 points.
In the girls’ game, South Greene saw Ashton Wykle score their first 13 points, but Cloudland countered with seven Kendall Mull points as the Rebels held a slim 13-10 lead late in the first quarter. A quick 4-0 South Greene run in the final minute pushed the lead to 19-12 after a quarter of play.
Wykle pushed the lead to 11 points in the opening minutes of the second, but Peyton Johnson and Faith Russell hit jumpers to close the gap back down to six points. However, a quick 6-0 SG run extended the advantage to 12 points. Russell and Johnson responded for Cloudland as they cut the gap to 34-25 at the break.
In the third quarter, Shian Strickland hit three 3-pointers in succession to help the Lady ‘Landers come back with a vengeance to close the gap to 37-40. Taylor Lamb and Amber Jones hit back-to-back shots for South Greene, but a Johnson jumper pulled CHS to 46-41 at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady ‘Landers continued to hold the momentum to start the final period as Russell hit a jumper and Johnson converted an and-one to tie the game at 46-46 with just under seven minutes to play.
On the other end, Wykle hit five straight points to push the lead back to give, but Strickland and Mull added points to keep Cloudland within a point. However, a 6-0 South Greene run over the next minute proved to be the difference that the Lady Rebels needed.
Mull finished with 18 points, while Russell tossed in 13 points. Johnson and Strickland finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Wykle finished with 24 points for the Lady Rebels.
Cloudland returns to action on Saturday night by hosting Unicoi County.