Middle School Basketball Tip-off Tournament… Jr. Warriors overwhelm Jr. ‘Landers in boys action, 40-24

Published 11:30 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Cloudland’s middle school boys took on Happy Valley in the annual Middle School Tip-off Tournament held at Blountville Middle School on Monday.

Cloudland came out with a group of kids that looked greatly improved from last year. They showed both size in the post positions and speed with the guards and it appeared they would match up well with a very good Happy Valley team.

The game started as a defensive struggle in the first quarter. Both teams used a press defense and neither could get a substantial lead.

As the first quarter ended the scoreboard showed a 7-7 tie, and all knew that this was going to be a good game.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

During the second quarter, Cloudland’s boys took an early lead but Jr. ‘Landers mistakes allowed Happy Valley to jump back in front. Before both teams could go to their locker rooms for the half, Cloudland miscues, lost rebounds, and missed shots had cost them dearly.

The half ended with Happy Valley showing a slim 18-12 lead.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle.

Cloudland used their size and speed to claw their way back into the game, but before the quarter ended, mistakes had once again hurt Cloudland.

Though the defense was playing well, the Jr. ‘Landers could not get their offense into a rhythm and Happy Valley led by Dakota Grindstaff made them pay dearly.

They did manage to score seven-point in the quarter, but the quarter ended with Happy Valley holding on to a 27-19 lead.

The fourth quarter saw both teams playing hard, inspired basketball but for Cloudland it was just too little too late.

Meanwhile, Happy Valley kept up the offensive pressure and when the buzzer sounded ending the game, the Jr. Warriors had taken a 40-24 victory.

After the game, Cloudland’s Coach Patrick Johnson was pleased with his team’s hustle and aggression but admitted they need a lot of improvement.

“Our team played hard and hustled to the last buzzer, but we have to stop making little mistakes. The turnovers killed us tonight, but if we can stop making these mental mistakes, we will win some games.

“The hardest thing for us to overcome is the loser mentality,” said Coach Johnson. “We did not do well last year, but during the offseason, we played some really good games. I know we can play well. We just have to gain some confidence, and we will win games.”

The leading scorer for Happy Valley was Dakota Grindstaff who scored 17 points and seemed to drain 3-pointers from everywhere on the court except the cheap seats.

Cloudland was let in scoring by Timmy Ingram with 12 points. Eli Morgan had 9 and Hunter Oakes had 6.

Happy Valley will play Thursday night against the winner of the Hampton Middle School – Sullivan North Middle School game. The game time is at 7 pm.

Cloudland will play in the loser’s bracket and will face the winner of the Holston Middle School – Robinson Middle School game on Thursday night. The game time is 5:45 pm.