Grubbs, Swearingen lead Lady Bulldogs to win over Cloudland, 49-37

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2015

by Bryce Phillips

Star Staff

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With the help of two double-digit performances, the Lady Bulldogs were able to leave snowy Roan Mountain with a win.

Alexus Grubbs, who posted 18 points, led the Lady Bulldogs to their 49-37 victory. Hampton’s Kim Swearingen ended the night with 11, going 7 of 9 from the charity stripe.

Cloudland and Hampton have always been rivals, and according to Grubbs that makes winning a whole lot sweeter.

“We wanted to beat them — that is our biggest goal in life,” she said with a laugh.

Toward the end of the second quarter, Cloudland’s Shian Strickland busted a three to close out the quarter behind Hampton, 24-21.

With the game so close going into the locker rooms, the Lady Bulldogs knew they had to beat Cloudland in the third to pull out a victory.

“Coming out and winning the third quarter – that is our goal,” Grubbs said. “Win the third quarter and stick it to them.”

Cloudland’s Faith Russell struck first in the third frame, pushing the Lady Highlanders to within one of Hampton. Lady Bulldogs’ Shyanne Tuelle answered with a trey to put the Lady ‘Dogs up 27-23. A bucket from Bowers gave the Lady Bulldogs a 34-28 lead going into the fourth.

“Third quarters haven’t always been kind to us,” Hampton coach Bud Hazelwood said.  “We played pretty good. They missed a couple of shots, we got a couple of good licks on the other end. It worked out for us.”

In the fourth, Hampton ran on out to a 47-36 lead over Cloudland after a seven-point drive orchestrated by Bowers and Tuelle. The game was closed out by Swearingen sinking one from the foul line. The Lady Bulldogs were 13 of 16 from the free-throw line.

“Cloudland is a tough team,” Hazelwood said. “We got some good shots, hit some key free throws. We got a couple of stops. Couple times we didn’t stop them. Bottom line, we got a few stops.”

On the boards, the Lady Bulldogs were able to pull down 25 rebounds compared to Cloudland’s 17.

Alexis Bowers and Grubbs were a defensive duo, with them both recording four steals each. With Bowers back on the court, Grubbs said things have got a lot easier defensively.

“It makes it a lot easier out there with Bowers,” Grubbs said. “She helps out a lot, stealing the ball and pressing.”

On Cloudland’s side of the ball, Russell and Payton Johnson shared the team high with nine.

Cloudland had 15 turnovers for the night, something coach Matt Birchfield feels hurt the Lady Highlanders chance of winning.

“It has always been a rival match against Hampton,” he said. “We had a lot of turnovers down the stretch. You can’t have those and win. We did the same thing at their place that we did here.”

Hampton 49

Grubbs 18, Swearingen 11, Tuelle 8 Bowers 5, Weir 4, Street 3

Cloudland 37

Russell 9, P. Johnson 9, Mull 8, Strickland 6, J. Johnson 3 Taylor 2

Hampton 12 12 10 5 — 49

Cloudland 11 10 7 8 — 37

3-point goals— H 2 (Bowers, Tuelle) C 4 (Mull, Russell, Strickland, Johnson)