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‘Landers early struggles come back to bite them

BY NIC MILLER
STAR CORRESPONDENT
KINGSPORT – After falling at home to the Unicoi County Blue Devils, the Cloudland Highlanders were looking to bounce back Friday night as they traveled to Kingsport to take on the Sullivan North Golden Raiders.

This contest, however, was different from the ‘Landers last time out, as it would only consist of a boys matchup.

From the opening tipoff, the Golden Raiders had taken it upon themselves to set the pace in this one as North was able to go on a 7-0 run to start the action.

And when it seemed as if Cloudland was ready to storm back after a contested three-point make by Bentley Gilbert, the Highlanders couldn’t seem to find the bottom of the net.

After one, it was the Golden Raiders on top by a score of 14-5.

The second period saw the Highlanders begin to come back into this one, but the momentum of the Golden Raider offense was too strong for Cloudland to bring it within striking distance.

At the break, North still maintained control, 25-16.

The third stanza brought with it the same results from both teams as the Highlanders were able to get the offense going, but unfortunately so were the Golden Raiders.

Heading into the final quarter of play, North had claimed a double-digit lead of ten, 35-25.

And after things were all said and done, Cloudland’s offensive effort wasn’t enough as their early-game struggles came back to haunt them. The final score in Kingsport was a 55-32 one in favor of the Golden Raiders.

Isaiah Pruitt led the Golden Raiders in scoring with 19 points in the win followed CJ Mardis with 11 points and Bryson Vance who put up eight.

In the effort for the Highlanders, both Elijah Blair and Victor Hicks shared the scoring leader position with 10 points apiece while Gilbert contributed with five points of his own.