Cloudland sweeps Unaka in Watauga Valley play

Published 12:21 am Tuesday, February 4, 2020

ROAN MOUNTAIN – The Cloudland Lady Highlanders proved why they are one of the top teams in the state Friday night in Roan Mountain holding Unaka’s girls without a basket in the first quarter and only one in the first half.

Lyndie Ramsey hit a three for Unaka at the 2.56 mark of the second quarter to bring the Rangers score to six at the half.  The Lady Landers struggled a little at first only putting five points on the board but a 19-point second quarter led by Kenzie Birchfield and Gracie Freeman
fired up Matt Birchfield’s state-ranked team.
The excitement carried over into the third as Cloudland posted 19 points to Unaka’s 9 for a 41-15 score.
The Lady ‘Landers second and third-team players got to see lots of action in the final period.
Birchfield, Jasmine Birchfield, and Freeman all scored 12-points for Cloudland while Ramsey scored 13 for Unaka.
In the boy’s action, Cloudland kept trying to give the game away but Unaka couldn’t take it.
Unaka led 13-10 at the end of one, but a 20-point second quarter by the ‘Landers gave them a six-point led at the half 30-24.
Unaka edged two points closer by the end of the third and both teams had an explosive final period, Cloudland scoring 26 and Unaka 25.
With only seconds left to play and a five-point lead, a Highlander player was slapped with a technical foul sending Ryan Johnson to the line for
He hit both free throws pulling the Rangers within three and Unaka got the ball at mid-court. Johnson then hit a three to tie the score.
With ten seconds left in the game, Unaka had the ball down three and got off two shots that fell short of sending the game to overtime.
Conner Birchfield turned in an outstanding performance for Cloudland hitting eight for eight from the free-throw line and scoring 21 points, nine in the final period.
Along with Birchfield’s 21 points, Elijah Blair scored 11 and Bentley Gilbert tossed in 10 points.  Hayden and Hunter Shell scored eight points each.
The Rangers were led by Johnson’s 23 points, Dylan Whitehead scored 14.
Cloudland, 50-35
Cloudland    5   19   17    9   -50
Unaka          3     3    9   20  -35

Cloudland:  K. Birchfield 12, Benfield 4, Fields 1, J. Birchfield 12,
Freeman 12, E. Benfield 2, K. Fields 7.
Unaka:  Simerly 3, Ramsey 13, Whitehead 6, J. Whitehead 6, Forney 3,
Ensor 1, Guy 3, Depew 3.

Cloudland, 63-60
Cloudland    10  20    8  25  -63
Unaka          13   11   10  26  -60

Cloudland:  Childers 2, Birchfield 21, Shell 1, Gilbert 10, Shell 8,
Blair 2, Shell 8, E. Blair 11.
Unaka:  Slagle 6, Sexton 8, Johnson 23, Whitehead 14, Ramsey 5, Drew 4.

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