GRAY — Cloudland had its opportunities to put the game away at the free-throw stripe. When those shots didn’t fall the Junior Highlanders’ way, the squad turned to its defense.
Forcing two key turnovers in the final minute and coming up with a couple of big makes at the line, Cloudland rallied past Colonial Heights 32-29 at Snyder Gymnasium Thursday to advance to the Next Level Basketball Trailblazer Classic semifinals.
In other local action, Hampton fell to Gray 39-35 and Little Milligan took a 62-20 defeat at the hands of Ross Robinson in quarterfinal tilts. The Junior Bulldogs are scheduled to face the Buffaloes at 5:45 p.m. in the losers’ bracket semis today at Sulpher Springs.
For Cloudland, Dalton Vines scored a game-high 19 points to pace their winning effort. The ’Landers will face Unicoi County in today’s late semifinal at 8:15 p.m., also at Sulpher Springs.
“It wasn’t real pretty,” said Cloudland coach Jordan Hughes of his team’s win. “We came along and found a way to win in the fourth quarter. We’ve got better at our free throw shooting and tonight we kind of went downhill a little bit — and looked like we haven’t seen the ball in a while.