By Jamie Combs
The weather outside was cold. However, that didn’t stop the Highlanders from turning up the heat inside Sonny Smith Gymnasium.
Cloudland pulled away from University High in the second quarter and used defensive pressure to take a 67-45 victory over the Jr. Bucs on Monday night. With the win, Cloudland secured the No. 3 seed in the upcoming District 1-A tournament.
“I am proud of our kids,” Cloudland coach Gary Harrison said. “We played with a lot of effort all night, and they keep improving. It is a good win. Coach (Justin) Penley does a good job, but we really played good defense all night and owned the boards. The defense really set the tone.”
Lady Highlanders 71
Lady Jr Bucs 33
The Lady ’Landers used seven 3-pointers in the first half to pull away and never look back as they cruised past University High. In the game, Cloudland hit a total of 12 3-pointers, sparked by Courtney Clarke’s four treys.
“It may be the most 3s we have hit all year,” Cloudland coach Matt Birchfield said. “We have been struggling lately from the 3-point line, and have not shot as well. It was good to see several kids making them tonight. That definitely helps your offense.”