Cloudland girls, Hampton boys take titles in middle school play

Published 12:53 am Tuesday, November 5, 2019



BLOUNTVILLE – The Tiger Invitational Middle School Basketball Tip-off Tournament concluded on Saturday night and if the results of this tournament are any indication of the upcoming season, this could be an exciting season for both the Hampton Middle School boys’ basketball team and the Cloudland Middle School girls’ basketball team.

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Both schools won their brackets and at the end of the day had won first place in a tournament that displayed several very talented schools.

The other schools discovered early in the tournament that these same two schools went to the state finals last year for a reason. They have good coaching and a high degree of talent at every position.

Lady Highlanders defeat Liberty Bell Middle, 28-23

The first championship contest was between the Cloudland Jr. Lady ‘Landers and Johnson City’s Liberty Bell Middle School.

Cloudland came out early in this contest showing a stifling defense that held Liberty Bell’s sharpshooters scoreless during most of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Izabella Christman, Bella Clawson, and Saharra Mckinney were finding their range and draining buckets giving Cloudland an 8-0 lead. Finally, with five seconds left in the first quarter, Liberty Bell connected and the first quarter ended with the score 8-2.

The second quarter saw more of the same hustling defense and sharpshooting offense Cloudland had displayed during the first quarter.

Several Cloudland players connected and helped extend the Cloudland lead to nine. When Bethany Sluder hit a buzzer-beating bank shot, the half was over and Cloudland led 16-7.

Liberty Bell is a good team and good teams do not give up easily.

During the third quarter Liberty Bell’s Kierra Morrow, Kinley Painter, and Sydney Mains brought their team back to within two points and held Cloudland’s offense to only two points.

When the third quarter ended, the score was a nail-biting 18-16 in favor of Cloudland.

This was not Cloudland’s first rodeo and they knew what they had to do during the fourth quarter.

Twice Liberty Bell came back and tied the score and twice Cloudland’s girls kept the pressure on until they had given themselves a comfortable lead.

When Sluder hit two critical foul shots with 15 seconds left in the game she placed the last nail in Liberty Bell’s coffin and the game ended with Cloudland winning 28-23.

Morrow had 10 points on the night for Liberty Bell. Painter followed her with 7 points and Mains with 6 points.

Cloudland was led in scoring by Mckinney with 11 points. Christman had 7 points, Clawson chipped in 6 and Sluder had 4 points.

The Cloudland Girls and Boys Middle School teams will play Happy Valley Middle School at home on Monday night. The games start at 5 pm.

Hampton Jr. ‘Dogs defeat Robinson Middle School, 44-29

Every good story needs a hero and Saturday night in Blountville there was no bigger hero than Hampton’s Dylan Trivett.

At one point in the game, he was the only player for either team that was coming close to scoring. By the time the game was over, Trivett had scorched the Class 3-A Middle School powerhouse for 21 points and gave them a whipping that they will not soon forget.

The game was as lopsided as the score indicated. Robinson played hard but they were playing a team that was playing harder.

Hampton outplayed, outrebounded, outshot, and out hustled a very good team and made believers out of not just their fans but many of Robinson’s fans.

The first quarter was almost all Hampton. The only bright spot for Robinson was their very athletic post player Nigel Vidale who had 17 points on the night.

During the first quarter, he single-handedly kept Robinson in the game. When the quarter ended with the score 13-7, every Robinson player knew they were in a fight.

The second period was just another episode of the Trivett show and by halftime, Hampton had run the score to 22-13.

If Robinson made adjustments during halftime they did not work because the third quarter saw Hampton run their lead to 17 points at one point.

The only set back during the quarter was a technical foul that was called on a Hampton player. Otherwise, the quarter was a beautiful display of good basketball.

With the score 36-22 to start the fourth quarter, Robinson tried a full-court press but Hampton made them pay and at one point during the quarter they had extended their lead to 20.

When the whistle finally sounded, Hampton had won the game 44-29 and had shown everyone who was present why they were taking home first place in the tournament.

Vidale led in scoring with 17 points followed by Brady Carter with 4 and Ben Smith with 4.

Trivett led Hampton with 22 points. Chance Point had 8, Hayden Campbell added 4, and Michael Anspaugh dropped in 4 on the night.