Cloudland Lady ‘Landers defeat Unicoi

Published 11:06 pm Thursday, February 11, 2016


The Cloudland Lady Highlanders traveled to Unicoi last night to take on the Lady Blue Devils in non-conference play. Getting a game in between snow storms, the Lady ‘Landers took the win, 50-45.

Unicoi’s Neelee Griffith scored first and often; she had seven points for the Lady Devils in the first quarter. The Highlanders went almost halfway through the first frame without scoring, then Shian Strickland tickled the strings from three-point land to kick-start the Cloudland offense.

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In the second quarter, the Lady Highlanders picked up their offensive rhythm. Erin Julian sank a ten foot jumper and was followed by teammate Megan Lunsford who sank back-to-back treys. Unicoi’s Hannah Rice hit a deep three, and teammates Chloe Powers and Griffith sank jumpers. However, the Lady Highlanders’ Payton Johnson finished on a three point play, and Strickland was good on a three pointer to close the gap in the scores. Trinity Vines put it in  reverse, and backed into the lane for two. P. Johnson then used her left-hand flip to sink four straight free throws. She finished the half with a spin move in the paint with just seconds to go.   The Lady Highlanders outscored the Lady Blue Devils 24-8 in the second, bringing the halftime score to Cloudland 29, Unicoi 19.

Both teams had a scoring slump in the third quarter. Unicoi’s Kenedy King and Powers each scored a bucket. For Cloudland, P. Johnson scored off a pass from Julian, and Vines had a tough rebound and put-back. Strickland sank two more buckets for the Lady ‘Landers, and the score going into the final quarter was Cloudland 37-24.

In the last quarter, the teams traded baskets with the Lady Blue Devils cutting into the Cloudland lead, but the Lady ‘Landers answered. Vines had a big and-one play, while Johanna Johnson found a wide open lane and drove to the right in the paint for two. Powers sank a big three for Unicoi, slicing into the lead, but P. Johnson and Vines scored late to keep the Highlander lead. Cloudland head coach Lucas Andrews was pleased with his team. “I thought the girls played hard. We got down early, but we kept our composure and were able to build a lead going into halftime. Unicoi made some adjustments that we needed to see before tournaments. In the end we were able to hold our lead with some big minutes from our bench.”

Cloudland – 50

Strickland-10; P. Johnson-17; Julian-4; J. Johanna-3; Lunsford-5; Vines-11

Unicoi – 45

Griffith-8; Powers-8; Edwards-6; King-6; Rice-17