Shell trey leads Cloudland past HV in OT

Published 7:14 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sophomore guard Hunter Shell connected on a three-point shot with under 10 seconds left in overtime as Cloudland won a 55-54 nonconference battle with Happy Valley on Tuesday night at Bayless gym.

“Josh set a good screen and we were supposed to get it down in the corner,” Shell said. “Not a lot of time on the clock but I got a good shot up. I just lofted one up and it went in. It was a good team effort, it wasn’t just me.”

This game was a see-saw from the outset with HV opening with a 14-12 first-quarter lead and extending to a 26-22 halftime lead behind balanced offense. Jake Surcey had six points at the break but Bryce Carter, Brayden Sams and Noah Stevens each had five.

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Carter finished the night with 12 points and an amazing 15 rebounds for HV while Surcey had a team-high 17. Junior forward Robert Leeper led all scorers with 26 points for the Highlanders with Shell chipping in with 13 and the biggest shot of the night.

“Great bunch of kids, and they all battled and played hard,” ‘Landers head coach Gary Harrison said. “Without any timeouts, we had to coach from the sideline and this was an exciting way to finish. We just ran a set we knew we could run against man or zone defense.”

The Warriors led 35-32 going into the final period and pushed the lead to five at 41-36 at the 3:08 mark after a pair of free throws from Surcey. With under a minute left in regulation Surcey buried two more free throws to give HV a 45-42 lead.

Josh Blair hit the tying shot with 38.6 ticks left in regulation on a trey to send the game to overtime.

“We never got a chance to put our foot on the gas pedal,” Warriors head coach Chuck Babb said. “We would get it to three or five and then miss a shot or a free throw and it seems like every time we play Cloudland it comes down to the last possession.”

Surcey opened the overtime period with a trey but Leeper answered with a deuce for Cloudland to make it a 48-47 game. Carter hit one-of-two from the line before Shell hit his first triple of the period for a 50-49 ‘Landers lead.

Finally, with just seconds remaining and HV leading by two, Shell came around a screen by Josh Blair and drilled his big shot. The Warriors never got a shot off at the end.

Cloudland 55-54 (OT)

Cloudland (55)

Coffey 2, Benfield 2, Leeper 26, Johnson 3, J. Blair 9, Shell 13.

Happy Valley (54)

Sams 11, Stevens 7, Whitaker 3, Surcey 17, Roberts 2, Carter 2.

Cloudland 12 10 10 13 10 – 55

Happy Valley 14 12 9 10 9 – 54

3-point goals : C 6 (Shell 3, Leeper 1, Johnson 1, J. Blair 1), HV 4 (Sams 1, Stevens 1, Whitaker 1, Surcey 1)