Tempers flare in Lady Highlanders rout
BY AUSTIN ALEXANDER
ROAN MOUNTAIN – Basketball was finally back in swing in Roan Mountain on Friday as the Sullivan North Raiders made the trip up the mountain for a showdown with the Highlanders.
Senior night was Friday as the uncertainty looms over just how many games will be played this basketball season. The Lady ‘Landers made sure to put their best foot forward throttling the Lady Raiders, 59-16.
An early 3-2 lead would be the only one the Lady Raiders had through the night as the Lady Landers were dominant from start to finish.
A 24-0 run from Cloudland before the half left little doubt in the second half. And the Highlanders were spreading the wealth as Karah Fields, Kaylen Fields, Leah Birchfield, Ella Benfield, Mandy Benfield, and Jasmine Birchfield all got in on the run.
The second half was not much of a change with many of the backup brigade getting some heavy minutes. Heaven Caraway would get the second half going with a three and the Lady ‘Landers never looked back.
Frustrations began to boil over on the Sullivan North sideline and a few technicals were handed out to both players and coaches.
Nevertheless, the Highlanders held strong and finished out the Lady Raiders with a final score of 59-16.
This win was the definition of a team win with literally everyone getting their fair share of the ball.
Sullivan North (16)
Kylie Glover 3, Lilly Crawford 4, Aryiana Green 2, Maddy Winters 7.
Jasmine Birchfield 17, Heaven Caraway 6, Gracie Freeman 3, Mandy Benfield 8, Leah Birchfield 4, Karah Fields 5, Kaylen Fields 2, Taylor Hicks 3, Ella Benfield 8, Kendall Birchfield 3.
If the girl’s installment had its fair share of fireworks, then this game was full-blown artillery warfare.
The teams were very evenly matched entering the game and the performance on the court did not disappoint. A controversial and temper-filled game would conclude with the Highlanders finishing off the varsity sweep, 59-54.
From the tip, the Bentley Gilbert show began. Gilbert would start off the game banging in two consecutive three-pointers and starting his tally towards his game-high 25 points.
A tight-knit first quarter would finish with an emphatic rejection from one machine, Victor Hicks.
With a 14-10 lead and lots of momentum, the Highlanders looked keen to keep rolling but the Raiders were up to the task.
A 6-0 run from Sullivan North would give them their only lead of the game at 18-17, but again, it was short-lived.
Heading into the half, the two teams were locked in a tight one with the Highlanders leading 26-22.
Coming out of the break, Dylan Shell and Elijah Blair would find their stride with a bucket apiece, and both teams were rolling along with Gilbert and Hicks leading the charge.
After a run from Cloudland gave them an 8 point lead, the Sullivan North sideline started to get heated and lost their temper a bit gifting the Highlanders a few freebies at the stripe via technicals.
The Raiders would battle back to keep themselves in it, but clutch free throw shooting from Gilbert helped seal the game for the Highlanders, 59-54.
Sullivan North (54)
Bryant Herron 4, Isaiah Pruitt 20, Josh Lovelace 7, Bryson Vance 8, Chris Watkins 4, CJ Mardis 11.
Victor Hicks 9, Caleb Sluder 7, Dylan Shell 5, Bentley Gilbert 26, Elijah Blair 12.