Lady 'Landers send away Knox Webb

By Ivan Sanders

   A "Kitty" ran wild during the Lady 'Landers contest against Knox Webb, but in the end the 'Landers were able to cage "Kitty" and corral her cohorts.
   Cloudland's Lady 'Landers capitalized on the hot shooting hands of Tara Hanson and Stachia Johnson to repel the Lady Spartans of Knox Webb 52-45 at Cloudland High on Friday evening.
   Kitty Houston of Webb did her best to help the Spartans defeat the homestanding Lady Landers as Houston hit for 24 on the evening. She also added eight rebounds and eight steals.
   It was not meant to be for the Spartans, though, as Hanson connected for 18 points, including three treys, and Johnson collected 15 points to keep Webb at bay.
   "We came in looking for a win to give us a 20-win season," said Lady Lander coach Matt Birchfield. "Our defense stepped it up and (Stachia) Johnson hit some big shots to keep us in the lead."
   The first half of action was a nip-and-tuck affair as the Lady Landers took an early 17-10 lead after one quarter of action. Amy Storie had a big game in the middle early as she used her height advantage to tally eight points in the quarter.
   Houston came on strong in the second period, hitting for eight to allow the Lady Spartans to draw within four points at the half, 28-24.
   The third quarter saw Johnson of the Lady 'Landers find the shooter's touch, nailing two treys in the quarter. Cloudland was able to get a little more breathing room as they entered the fourth period leading 42-33.
   "We had a lot of people step up tonight," stated Johnson. "We have struggled a little as a team, so this was a big win."
   Houston had one last burst of energy as she single-handedly tried to bring Webb back. She pumped in all 12 points in the fourth period for the Lady Spartans, but it wouldn't be enough.
   Hanson added five and Johnson four to keep Cloudland in the drivers seat, allowing the seniors to relish victory on their final home game.
   Taukia Hughes, a leading scorer for the Lady 'Landers, found herself in early foul trouble, but not before she hit the first basket of the game to reach the 1,000 point plateau.
   "It was absolutely wonderful," stated Hughes. "I had not ideal I was that even close to reaching 1,000 points."
   Said Hanson of Hughes: "I am really excited for her. She is the best senior leader, and I am just so happy she reached 1,000 points in her career."
   The Lady 'Landers collected 21 rebounds with Storie ripping down eight and Johnson seven. Hanson added two of the five steals Cloudland had on the night. The Lady Spartans pulled down 20 boards for the contest.
   The win did give Cloudland a 20-victory season, but there is not much time to rest on its laurels. The Lady 'Landers must now get ready quickly for the district tournament coming up at Steve Lacy Fieldhouse on the campus of Milligan College.