Middle school basketball tip-off tournament… Cloudland girls take down Happy Valley, 27-17

Published 11:30 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019



The cold weather has finally arrived and with it, the start of the first games of the 2019-2020 basketball season. Two of Carter County’s middle schools faced each other for the first game of the season in a Middle School Tip-off Tournament held at Blountville Middle School.

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Both Cloudland and Happy Valley girls came into the game wanting a victory for pride and to start the season on a positive note. Unfortunately, one would have to lose.

Cloudland came into the game after only losing three starters from last year’s state championship runner-up team. Everyone wondered how they would start this season. In the end, Cloudland left no doubt.

After winning the tip-off for the game, Cloudland took little time getting on the board. Ryan Turbyfill drained a 3-point attempt with only seconds off the clock and Cloudland took an early 3-0 lead.

They never looked back and would never lose their lead.

Both teams played aggressive defense for most of the first quarter and neither team could score as time clicked slowly off the clock.

Finally, Happy Valley got on the board with a shot from the charity stripe, and Cloudland answered with a foul shot of their own to end the first quarter. The game stood at 4-1 with Cloudland clinging to a narrow lead.

Cloudland opened up the scoring in the second quarter with two 3-point shots by Bella Clawson. Sahara McKinney and Turbyfill kept the pressure on by scoring three and two respectfully for Cloudland.

Meanwhile, Andrea Flores and Marcida Thompson kept Happy Valley in the game by scoring eight points. When the buzzer sounded for the half, Cloudland led by six, 15-9.

Happy Valley came out of the half playing inspired basketball and got within three points of Cloudland two minutes into the third quarter.

That would be the closest the Jr. Lady Warriors would get to the Lady Jr. ‘Landers. Happy Valley could not find a cure for Cloudland’s press defense, and Cloudland pulled away to a 21-14 score by the end of the third.

 The Lady Landers kept pressing forward in the fourth quarter to take a 27-17 victory to the bank.

After the game, Cloudland’s Coach Horney was pleased with the victory.

“We played well, but we have a lot of ways we can improve. It is still early in the season, and this is just the first game”, said Coach Horney.

McKinney led all scoring with 12 points. Turbyfill had 9 points on the night and Bella Clawson had 6.

Thompson led Happy Valley in scoring finishing with 10 points. Flores had 7.

Cloudland’s girls will play Friday night against Hampton’s middle school girls for a trip to the championship game on Saturday night. Friday’s game begins at 7 pm.