Hunter boys, 'Landers girls  garner wins

By Marvin Birchfield

   The Hunter eighth grade boys team came away with the win over Cloudland Monday night by a final of 63-40 at Hunter Elementary. It was the dominating force on the inside and quick guard play that propelled the Tigers to victory.
   "They always play hard and they always will, because if they don't I'll take them out," said Hunter coach Mike Dorsey.
   The Tigers sprung out to an 11-0 lead to start the game, which was controlled by Charles Peters and Paul Waters combining for all of Hunter's early points.
   "I thought they were hanging on Charles quite a bit, but he kept his cool and did what he is supposed to do," said Dorsey.
   The 'Landers' first points didn't come until just over a minute left in the first quarter, when Adam Stevens drove to the basket for the score.
   Waters came back to sink a three-pointer, and lead Hunter with eight points in the first period.
   Cloudland was able to capture another bucket right before the buzzer, when Brian Simmons received the ball down low for the easy deuce.
   Hunter picked up where they left off in the second with Josh Lowe knocking down the tray to put the Tigers up thirteen.
   James Miller responded by taking the ball inside and getting the score, while Stevens added a point by hitting one of two at the free-throw line.
   Then the Tigers went on a 12-2 run led by Peters and Lowe to give Hunter a commanding lead of 20 with a minute left until the half.
   Hunter had manhandled the 'Landers in the first two periods and found themselves in control at halftime, leading by the score of 29-12.
   Peters took control once again in the third, scoring 11 of the Tigers' 15 points.
   Cloudland just didn't seem to have the answer in stopping the big man, as he ruled the boards and created havoc on the interior.
   The 'Landers tried to hang tough by getting a couple of nice baskets from Daniel Winters, and a shot before the horn sounded from Stevens, who drew the foul, pulled Cloudland back to within 15 going into the final period.
   "I thought our team played aggressive for we attacked the basket better than we have, but the fouls didn't quite go our way," said Cloudland coach Chris Collins.
   In the final quarter of play, Cloudland was unsuccessful in slowing down the Tiger offense.
   "I can't say enough about the team. They hung in and played hard even if the score didn't indicate it," said Collins.
   Peters finished with 27 points on the night, while Lowe ended up with 11 and Waters with 10.
   Cloudland's varsity girls team celebrated a 47-27 win over the Hunter Tigers at Hunter Elementary on Monday.
   The 'Landers jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but it wasn't until halfway through the first quarter when Jessica Lunsford made the layup off a fast break that Cloudland posted a score.
   "We're a much better team when we get out on the break, and we got out on it better tonight than what we had been," said Cloudland coach Mike Lunsford.
   By the end of the first, Cloudland had built a 14-5 lead as Natasha Miller drained the three with 15 seconds left.
   The 'Landers stayed in charge throughout the second by running the transition and getting easy baskets off the fast break to enjoy a 22-11 lead by the half.
   Heather Banner provided some spark for the 'Landers, as she led them along with Lunsford to finish up with 12 points apiece. Jessica Ledford accounted for nine to complement a good team performance.
   In the second half, Hunter was ineffective in evading the defensive pressure from Cloudland, with the 'Landers building a 19-point lead going into the fourth.
   "I thought we did good job by getting some turnovers and defensive pressure on the ball," said Lunsford.
   The Tigers struggled from the free-throw line all night as they ended up hitting only 12 of 31attempts.
   "We missed both free-throws and layups, but mainly we just missed free throws," said Hunter coach Tammy Taylor.
   Jordan Muratore led the Tigers with seven points in the game, while Logan Wagonseller finished with five.
   The 'Landers maintained their advantage in the final period to come away with a convincing win of a 21-point margin.
   "I thought we played good defensively, but we couldn't press them," Taylor said. "They have good outlet passes and get down the court quick."