Jr Highlanders push past pesky Bucs 44-33

Published 2:48 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

It took a while but the Cloudland Junior Highlanders used a 10-2 fourth quarter to put away the University High Junior Bucs. The first half saw the Highlanders nurse a 22-19 lead into the locker room as Gavyn Shell would get a late layup and take punishment but he failed to complete the backside foul opportunity. The Junior Bucs would take the lead midway in the third quarter, but a couple of 3-pointers by Bryson Hardin would keep the Bucs at bay until the decisive final period. Gavyn Shell would showcase an aggressive style of play, getting fouled multiple times en route to his game-high 19-point performance; Anthony Brown would add 16, and Hardin would chip in 9. Jr. Buc Seth Reiley would hit five 3-pointers to lead the Jr. Bucs.

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Highlander Gavyn Shell talked about the team effort tonight. “We moved the ball well that gave me some open looks and I was able to drive to the hoop, Bryson’s 3-pointers made a big difference”. Jr. Highlanders Head Coach Ashley Turbyfill said their adjustments in the final period made the difference. “We finally adjusted to their screen and roll; they have great shooters. It was important that we get out on the corners. I thought ball pressure was key as well, and we kept our heads. It got a little crazy there at the end,” Turbyfill shared. The Junior Highlanders improved to 6-3 on the year.

Girls- Jr. Highlanders 39 Jr. Bucs 19

Maggie Heaton hit four 3-pointers as the Lady Highlanders rolled out to a 31-6 halftime advantage and never looked back. Abriella Jones scored 13 points, and Ayla Horney tossed in 6 points as the game provided the Lady Highlanders the opportunity to give valuable minutes to many of their reserve players. The Lady Jr. Highlanders improved to 9-3 on the year. Junior Lady Highlanders Coach Amy Horney spoke on this game and what she needs to see out of her team moving forward. “Our guards shot well, particularly Maggie. We played great defense tonight, but we have to move the ball better and show more patience on offense; competition down the road in our conference games is going to demand that,” Horney explained.