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Lady Highlanders breeze to Region 1-A quarterfinal win

Allen LaMountain • Updated Feb 22, 2019 at 10:53 PM

ROAN MOUNTAIN— It is not enviable to have to visit a team that beat you by 30 points in the opening game of the season, but that was the task facing Hancock County on Friday night  in a Region 1-A basketball tournament quarterfinal at Cloudland's Sonny Smith gym.

For the Lady Indians, it was deja vu all over again as the Lady Highlanders (23-7) administered a 73-30 thumping to Hancock County (17-14) — which eliminates the Indians and sends the 'Landers to the next round of the region tournament at Sullivan North on Monday.

Behind a pair of 3-balls from Gracie Freeman and another from Heaven Caraway, Cloudland took a 13-3 first-period lead. Senior post Trinity Vines scored 13 first-half points as Cloudland rolled to a 39-12 halftime lead.

“I told the team before the game to play defense and let the offense come to you,” Lady 'Landers head coach Mike Lunsford said. “You'll score if you play good defense. We got some turnovers but if we weren't hitting our shots, the turnovers don't matter, do they?”

Hancock County showed signs of life in the third period; however, the hole the Lady Indians had dug was far too deep to climb out of by this point. Cloudland led 62-28 going into the fourth quarter and when senior guard Megan Lunsford hit a 3-ball to open the period it was a running clock the rest of the way.

Guard Jazmine Birchfield had nine points and as many rebounds for Cloudland and Freeman scored a game-high 16 points along with Vines.

“Jazz had a good night all around,” Lunsford said. “Gracie played well and shot the ball well. Everybody shot well. We moved the ball around and got some good looks, a lot of assists.”

For Hancock, Karlie Bowlin led the way with nine points.

———

Cloudland 73, Hancock County 30

1-A girls quarterfinals

HANCOCK COUNTY (17-14)

Neely 3, C. Seal 2, Bowlin 9, B. Seal 6, Gibson 6, Linden 4.

CLOUDLAND (23-7)

Wilson 8, Benfield 2, Freeman 16, Lunsford 6, Vines 16, Caraway 3, Blair 4, K. Birchfield 9, J. Birchfield 9.

Hancock Co. 3 9 16 2 — 30

Cloudland 13 26 23 11 — 73

3-point goals—HC 0, C 10 (Freeman 4, K. Birchfield 3, Vines 2, Caraway 1).

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