'Landers hammer Jr. Bucs

By Wes Holtsclaw

   After a poor 19-of-53 shooting performance against Unaka last Friday night, the Cloudland Highlanders came into Brooks Gym on a mission Tuesday night, and just like the song from AC/DC, left the University High Jr. Bucs "Thunderstruck" with a big 71-57 conference win after trailing by one at the half.
   Kyle Jones stepped up in the spotlight again for the Highlanders (4-1, 14-4), nailing down 29 points on a 14-for-16 night. He was backed by outstanding defense from Mark Byrd, Caleb Denton, Kevin Jones and Rick Whitehead.
   "We told our guys at halftime we needed to be a little more patient," said Cloudland coach Ned Smith. "Get our feet set, and be able to knock our shots down and try to contain the big guys and their point guard out on top."
   "I feel like the Jones boys and Caleb, the team stepped up tonight and hit their shots. We were patient and teamwork was the difference tonight in our win."
   The game started out slow, but University High (1-5, 8-12) kept charging ahead, collecting five charges on the night. Tough play from Jabari Bowers and Jermaine Lomans helped University High battle to a 29-28 halftime lead. But the second half was all Cloudland.
   The Jones boys stepped it up in the third as well as Denton powering the Landers. Cloudland kept up their momentum throughout the rest of the half, eventually taking the 71-57 win.
   "It's great for us coming off that tough loss to Unaka," said Kyle Jones, "The team came in here and got the big conference win, we got open looks and ran the ball well. That's what we needed to do."
   Said Kevin Jones: "The past couple of games I have been shooting the ball well, so I was looking to pass the ball and help my team. We put up the points and got the win. I think the team played great."
   "This is a huge conference win," said Caleb Denton. "We were down by one at the break, and we really wanted to step it up and play awesome defense. "
   Kevin Jones added 10 points for the Highlanders, while University High had three players with double digits as Brandon Bradley, Lomans, and Bowers added 14, 12, and 12 respectively.
   Lady Highlanders 47
   Lady Jr. Bucs 39
   In the earlier matchup, the Cloudland Lady 'Landers (5-0, 16-6) powered over University High (1-5, 7-9) with a 47-39 win in Brooks Gym.
   "We didn't play real well," said Cloudland coach Matt Birchfield. "We didn't shoot the ball well. We came over here a little bit flat. It was a conference game and we got the win, so that's pretty good.
   "We have a tough one on Thursday, we play at Hampton, and anytime you play at Hampton they will be good. We gotta step up our game a little bit and hopefully we can play with them."
   UH's Meridith Reardon led all score with 21, Cloudland had three players with double digits as Tara Hanson, Amy Storie and Holly Blair had 14, 12, and 11 respectively.