Warriors claw way to 62-57 win over ‘Landers

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2016


After the first contest ended in a squeaker in Roan Mountain, the Happy Valley Warriors were hunkered down with expectations of another battle against Cloudland and a battle they got.

In a contest where the Warriors seemed to be roped back in every time they made a move to stretch the lead, Coach Chuck Babb’s team responded down the stretch to secure the 62-57 win over the pesky Highlanders.

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“We knew we would have to battle,” said Babb after the contest. “It was pretty contested up there, and we knew they going to play to win and that we had better come out and do some things.

“We did things a little differently tonight. We threw them off their game by playing zone which we haven’t played all year. The kids adjusted to it, and I think it bothered them some. In the end, it shouldn’t have been as close as it was if we had took care of the basketball.”

Thanks in part to a quick start by Sam Blevins who blistered the nets for 12 points in the first quarter, the Warriors were able to jump out front at the half by eight points, 29-21.

Brayden Sams also had a solid half for Happy Valley as the junior hit for nine points.

Josh Blair had the three ball dialed in for Cloudland as he scored 10 in the half, six by way of a pair of treys. Preston Benfield tossed in five points to aid the ‘Landers cause.

Things got tight with 3:57 left in the game as the ‘Landers cut the Warriors margin down to four at 49-45 before the Warriors managed to earn several trips to the foul line where they connected on 10-of-15 in the final period of play to escape with the victory.

Blevins collected 19 points to lead all scorers in the contest with Sams on his heels with 16. Noah Worley and Chris Young played a huge supporting role hitting for nine points each for the Warriors.

Cloudland was led by Preston Benfield who is showing signs of his old self by battling back from a football injury and hitting for 15, including three treys, to pace the ‘Landers

Robert Leeper pumped in 12 while Josh Blair and Brinkley Mull each added double figures with 10 points apiece.



Happy Valley, 62-57

Cloudland (57)

Noah Arnett 4, Brinkley Mull 10, Josh Blair 10, Malachi Benfield 1, Preston Benfield 15, Robert Leeper 12, Jason Potter 2, Dillion Johnson 3.

Happy Valley (62)

Brayden Sams 16, Noah Worley 9, Chris Young 9, Dillon Barlow 8, Austin Hicks 1, Sam Blevins 19.

Cloudland………14   7   14   22—57

Happy Valley.….21   8   13   20—62

3-PT Goals: Cloudland 8 (Preston Benfield 3, Josh Blair 2, Brinkley Mull 2, Dillon Johnson). Happy Valley 3 (Sam Blevins 2, Brayden Sams).