Lady Jr. Highlanders advance in sectionals at John Sevier

Published 1:21 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022

BY BRANDON HYDE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
KINGSPORT – The Cloudland Middle School girls basketball team took care of business Monday night at the girl’s sectional tournament as the Lady ‘Landers got a decisive win over the West View Volunteers Monday night at John Sevier Middle in Kingsport.
First-period action saw Cloudland strike first with a quick 4-0 lead as Regan Blair found Abby Clawson under the basket with an assist and score.  It was a running theme throughout the game play as Blair showed her MVP skills.
This was followed by a steal where the ball found its way back into Clawson’s hands and all of a sudden, it was 6-0 as the Volunteers called timeout to regroup.
Excellent rebounding from Cloudland saw ample opportunity for the Lady ‘Landers all over the court.  This and turnovers from the Volunteers gave Cloudland a 10-2 lead at the end of the first period.
The second period belonged to West View as they quickly got back into rhythm and scored quickly making it 10-7 early on.
Cloudland would struggle a bit with their ball handling and shooting, allowing the Volunteers to claw their way back a bit.  A substitution early in the period by the Volunteers was the catalyst for West View.
Morgan Campbell for the Volunteers was a rebounding machine and it started to turn the tide for West View.  A quick basket underneath from Clawson put the Lady ‘Landers back up 12-7 with 3:36 to go in the half.
At this point, the Volunteers started to apply more pressure defensively.  This with a quick score brought them within three points with 1:49 to go before the half.
The Volunteers would strike quickly to start out the third period, bringing them to within one point of the Lady ‘Landers as Campbell would continue with her excellent rebounding.
However, the Volunteers would begin to do themselves in with questionable long shots that were nowhere near the basket.  It was a strategy that made no sense as they had several opportunities to get the ball inside, especially with the presence of Campbell.
This would start a downward trend for the Volunteers as Cloudland began to take advantage of the ill-advised play calls by West View.
The middle of the third was the true beginning of what would become the Regan Blair show.
Multiple assists and forced turnovers by the aggressive Blair would give the Volunteers fits throughout the remainder of the game.  An assist from Blair to Eowyn McCoury would make it 16-11 with 3:00 to go in the third.
McCoury would be fouled but would miss the subsequent free throw.  It ended up well as Abby Clawson snagged the rebound and immediately put up an easy two points now making it 18-11.
Blair was on fire as she zoomed in out of nowhere on another steal. This was followed by another immediate steal by the shifty Lady ‘Lander.
With a minute to go in the third, Emily Forbes would put up a near-miss hook shot that would be rebounded by Cora Gibbs who would then score, making it 22-13.  Campbell would add a quick two at the close of the third period, bringing the Volunteers within seven points, giving them a glimmer of hope going into the final period.
The glimmer of hope would fade as Cloudland would put on the pressure in the final period.
Forbes would help the Lady ‘Landers strike first with a nice baseline pass to Clawson underneath for a quick score.  A short time later, the Volunteers would be caught napping on a Cloudland inbound to Clawson underneath the basket for another easy two.
Cloudland would up the ante with excellent ball movement and plenty of looks inside and more on-target shooting.
On the next possession, Clawson pumped a rebound to Blair who would get it to McCoury for another easy Cloudland basket, now making it a daunting 30-17 in favor of the Landers’.
A fast break with a score and a foul would quickly add another three points.  Things were beginning to look bleak as Blair would get yet another demoralizing steal from an unsuspecting Volunteer.
A short time later, Blair would get another steal and assist leading to a score with a foul making it 35-17 with 3:00 to go.
The Volunteers would never recover, dropping the second round to the Lady ‘Landers who would advance with a statement win over West View.
McCoury would have a big night with 18 points along with Clawson’s 16,  but Blair stole the show with her magical act of steals and assists.
Cloudland, 41-19
Cloudland (41)
Regan Blair 3, Eowyn McCoury 18, Abby Clawson 16, Chelsie Wilson 2, Cora Gibbs 2.
West View
Kiley Moore 10, Morgan Campbell 6, Ally Marler 2, Marley Young 1.
Cloudland…..10  2  10  19 – 41
West View…… 2  7   6    4 – 19

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