Lady ‘Landers dominate Washburn in region opener

Published 12:24 am Tuesday, March 3, 2020

On Friday night the game started earlier than expected due to the weather, but the Cloudland Lady Highlanders were ready and raring to go. The Lady ‘Landers forced 21 turnovers defensively and routed Washburn 51-30 at Sonny Smith Gymnasium.
When asked if his player’s defensive effort was a key to the win Lady ‘Landers head coach Matt Birchfield said, “I thought it was the difference in the game. We came out of the gates and did what we had to do defensively.
“We forced a lot of turnovers and we were really happy with the effort there.”
Washburn (19-10) led 4-3 at the 5:53 mark of the first quarter but the Lady Highlanders went on a 12-0 run to the end of the period with sophomore Leah Birchfield hitting for seven points including a three-ball. Birchfield finished with a team-high 13 points.
The ‘Landers run continued into the second period and extended to 24 which made the score 27-4 before Braelyn Coffey connected for the Lady Pirates on a deuce in the paint.
Cloudland (24-5) led 29-7 at the half having forced 15 turnovers from the Pirates.
Aided by trey’s from Coffey and Tori Coffman, Washburn was able to gain some offensive momentum and ended the third period trailing 39-18.
Heaven Caraway hit a pair of trey’s early in the fourth period and the Pirates got a long-range shot from Hayleigh Stalsworth, but Washburn in the end, could not dig out of the hole they dug themselves.
“We were all excited to play this game,” senior guard Kenzie Birchfield said. “When our shots weren’t falling we had to rely on our defense.
“We are all excited to get to the next round and get back here. I think we can do it.”
Coffey finished with a game-high 14 points for Washburn while Gracie Freeman backed Birchfield’s effort with nine points. Cloudland will face Cosby on Monday at Walters State C.C. with game time set for 7:30 pm.
Region 1-2A
Cloudland 51-30
Washburn (30)
Kincaid 2, Stalsworth 6, E. Coffey 3, Coffman 5, B. Coffey 14.
Cloudland (51)
Caraway 7, K. Birchfield 6, M. Benfield 5, J. Birchfield 8, Freeman 9, L. Birchfield 13, Kal. Fields 2, E. Benfield 1.
Washburn  4   3  11 12 – 30
Cloudland 15 14 10 12 – 51
3-point goals: W 3 (B. Coffey, Stalsworth, Coffman). C 5 (Caraway 2, K. Birchfield 2, L. Birchfield).

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