Region 1-A Girls’ Championship                                                                                                                                                               North Greene   45       Cloudland  41 Lady ‘Landers fall to North Greene in Region 1-A final

Published 12:05 am Friday, March 6, 2020

GRAY – There were no late miracles for Cloudland on Wednesday night in the Region 1-A championship played at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium. The Lady Highlanders got a game-high 16 points from junior post-player Mandy Benfield but Cloudland fell 45-41.
The ‘Landers will travel to Oneida on Saturday with a berth in the state tournament at stake.
“That’s all this game means is a home court game and we let it slip away,” Lady ‘Landers head coach Matt Birchfield said. “The kids played their hearts out, I can’t complain it just didn’t go our way late in the game.
“Bernard hit a couple three’s in the third and we had some opportunities on steals that we didn’t capitalize on.”
Cloudland (25-6) took the early lead at 13-9 after one quarter was in the books but the Lady Huskies got trey’s from four different players in the second period to take a 23-22 halftime advantage.
The trey’s were from Breezy Savage, Bernard, Emily Britton, and Shelby Davenport.
The Lady Huskies got eight third-quarter points from Bernard on a pair of long-range shots while Benfield kept the ‘Landers close with six points but North Greene extended it’s slim lead to 34-32 going into the final period.
“It was a key tonight and Monday night too,” Lady Huskies head coach James Buchanan said. “When she (Bernard) shoots like that we are a better team.
“She got us to this game, but we have others that can shoot it. Shelby made the first one and then Emily Britton. We got behind but took the lead right back and Breezy did a good job taking care of the ball.”
Cloudland got a pair of buckets from Benfield to open the fourth quarter and give the ‘Landers a 36-34 lead but Britton canned a three-ball from the corner and sophomore post-player Brooklyn Anderson hit one-of-two from the line as NG took a 38-36 lead.
Cloudland tied it once again with a deuce from Benfield but once again NG had an answer as Anderson scored in the paint for a 40-38 Huskies lead. Free throws from Anderson made it 44-38 but a trey from senior guard Kenzie Birchfield pulled Cloudland to within one.
Time was of the essence though and Cloudland was forced to foul with under 30 seconds remaining and Anderson hit both ends of her one-and-one and after a ‘Landers miss at the other end, Jasmine Birchfield just missed on the rebound battle with Savage who went to the line and hit one-of-two to close it out.
Region 1-A Championship
North Greene 45-41
Cloudland (41)
Caraway 2, K. Birchfield 6, Benfield 16, J. Birchfield 11, Freeman 2, Kal Fields 4.
North Greene (45)
Britton 7, Savage 5, Davenport 7, Bernard 13, Anderson 13.
Cloudland      13   9 10 9  – 41
North Greene  9 14 11 11 – 45
3-point goals: C 2 ( K. Birchfield). NG 8 (Bernard 3, Davenport 2, Britton 2, Savage).

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