‘Landers scratch and claw way to win over Titans

Published 2:07 am Saturday, December 18, 2021

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ROAN MOUNTAIN – It took 32 minutes of hard work, but the Cloudland Highlanders managed to not run from the heat of battle and as result were able to chalk up a thrilling win Friday evening at Cloudland High School.

Cloudland built a nine-point lead heading into the final quarter of play but the team from Twin Springs, VA was not shaken and kept fighting back to finally cut it down to 52-50 as time expired and the home team held on for the victory.

The ‘Landers built a 30-22 lead at the break led by 10 points from Caleb Sluder. Dylan Shell and Gage McKinney also contributed in a big way by dropping seven and six points respectively.

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The second half played out very similar to the first as bodies were flying all over the floor and at times it looked like a good smash-mouth football game the way each team was diving and playing very physical basketball especially under the rim.

Cloudland was hungry for the win however and managed to build a 40-31 lead with eight minutes left in regulation. The ‘Landers had a five-point lead with 1:35 showing on the game clock but the Titans weren’t ready to run away and hide as Twin Springs battled back to with three before Cloudland gained enough space at the end of the game thanks to some timely foul shooting as Seth Birchfield hit two free throws with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Sluder paced the Cloudland attack with 15 points while Gage McKinney added 11 points. Shell added 10 points.

Twin Springs received a game-high 19 points from Bradley Owens. Conner Lan was just a point behind Owens with 16 points.

Cloudland, 52-50
Twin Springs (50)
Bradley Owens 17, Conner Lan 16, BJ Castle 5, Tristan Counts 1, Mason Elliott 7, Ryan Horne 2, Drew Salyer 2.
Cloudland (52)
Caden Clark 6, Caleb Sluder 15, Dylan Shell 10, Jacob Street 2, Gage McKinney 11, Eli Morgan 3, Eli Benfield 1, Dylan McClellan 2, Seth Birchfield 2.
Twin Springs … 9 13 9 19 – 50
Cloudland ……. 12 18 10 12 – 52