Sullivan East sweeps past Cloudland

Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

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BLUFF CITY – On Monday at the Patriot Palace the Cloudland Highlanders had a three-game win streak snapped at the hands of Sullivan East. The Patriots knocked down 14 threes in a 79-56 victory over the ‘Landers.
Cloudland led by a deuce at the end of the first period but by the half East (4-5 overall) had built a 35-22 advantage on the strength of six first-half three’s.
Balanced scoring was the hallmark of the Patriots’ first-half with Clayton Ivester scoring eight points and Braden Standbridge added seven while both Ethan Bradford and Dylan Bartley had six each.
Caleb Sluder led all first-half scorers with 11 for the Highlanders (4-2 overall).
East finished with five players in double figures with Ethan Bradford scoring 15. John Waldon and Ashton Davison each scored 14 while Austin Davis and Ivester each added 10. Sluder led all scorers with 19 for Cloudland with Bentley Gilbert good for 13.
Sullivan East…48
A nip and tuck first half saw the Lady Patriots take a 21-18 halftime lead with Riley Morton leading the way with seven points. Emma Aubrey connected on a pair of treys for her six first-half points.
Sullivan East (5-3 overall) led 21-14 before a free throw from Kenzie Birchfield and a three-point play from senior post Mandy Benfield drew the ‘Landers to within four points.
Benfield had seven first-half points while Gracie Freeman scored six on a pair of three-balls.
Cloudland (6-2 overall) opened the third period with a turnover that East capitalized on with a deuce from Hayley Grubb for a 23-18. Freeman then connected on a trey to make it a two-point game at 23-21.
Grubb scored the next six points to extend East to a 29-21 lead at the 5:10 mark of the third period.
“We didn’t come out in the third period, had some turnovers and let them get their run,” said Lady Highlanders head coach Matt Birchfield. “We cut it to one in the fourth but they made their free throws down the stretch.
“It’s tough when you are forced to foul. We should have focused more inside but their defense took it away from us.”
Aubrey nailed a long-distance shot for a 32-21 Patriots advantage. The Patriots took a 36-29 lead into the fourth quarter behind 10 third-quarter points from Grubb.
Cloudland cut the Patriots lead to 38-37 in the fourth quarter behind a bucket and a pair of free throws from Benfield who finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds.
“Mandy gave us some good minutes and we expect that from our senior post,” Birchfield said. “We have got to get some more soring from other kids.”
Grubb – who was honored at the start of the game for scoring her 1,000 points – scored a team-high 14 for East.

Sulivan East 48-37
Cloudland (37)
Benfield 17, J. Birchfield 5, Freeman 9, K. Fields 6.
Sullivan East (48)
Aubrey 9, Nelson 9, Hodge 6, Hare 10, Grubb 14.

Cloudland 12 6 11 8 – 37
Sullivan East 12 7 15 12 – 48
3-point goals: C 2 (Freeman), SE 3 (Aubrey 2, Hare)

Sullivan East 79-56
Cloudland (56)
Hicks 8, Sluder 19, Shell 9, Hamby 2, Gilbert 13, Blair 5.
Sullivan East (79)
Bradford 15, Standbridge 7, Waldon 14, Bartley 14, Dickenson 3, Ivester 10, Montgomery 6, Davis 10.

Cloudland 11 11 17 17 – 56
Sullivan East 9 26 19 25 – 79
3-point goals: C 3 (Sluder 2, Gilbert), SE 14 (Bradford 4, Standbridge, Waldon 2, Bartley 4, Dickenson, Montgomery 2).

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