'Landers dismiss Huskies

By Wes Holtsclaw

   BAILEYTON--It was the same scenario and the same results for the Cloudland Highlanders at North Greene.
   In Friday's conference battle, the Highlanders fought through a tough Huskies unit and continued their winning ways at the Den with a 73-51 victory.
   Cloudland, again, bounced back against North Greene after a crucial conference loss on the road against University High, like last season.
   "We knew we wanted to get a win," said Cloudland coach Ned Smith. "(North Greene's) a hard place to play at and the kids turned up the defense and got some easy baskets to get ahead."
   The 'Landers were successful from behind the arch with nine treys, including four from Craig Cooke, who led the game with 17 points.
   "We needed (this win)," said Cooke. "If we can come out with a win against Unaka on Tuesday, we can be in the top two at least."
   Cooke hit three of those in the second quarter.
   Said Smith: "They backed their defense up on our posts and it opened up our outside shots."
   Cloudland hit 18 of their first 20 shots in the second half against the North Greene unit.
   Robbie Tolley and Aaron Stocton reached double-digits inside for the 'Landers with 13 and 12 respectively. Cody Jones hit three treys for his nine points, while Mark Byrd also tipped in nine for the blue and gold.
   The 'Landers led by six at the end of the first half, despite a strong second quarter from Huskies' Matthew Burns and Clay Finley.
   Aaron Spears, Matthew Ormsbee and Daniel Middleton also saw shots fall before Cloudland made a strong run of 22 points apiece in the third and fourth quarters.
   Tolley brought the house down at the beginning of the final frame with a monster slam.
   The 'Landers face their biggest regular season conference battle left this Tuesday night when they host Unaka, who beat them in overtime earlier this season on the creek.
   "We're ready for it," said Cooke of Tuesday's game. "We've worked hard for this game, and we showed up against North Greene. I think we can do good against them."
   Lady Highlanders 50
   Lady Huskies 38
   The Lady Highlanders kept working things against the Lady Huskies, but couldn't find a big streak of buckets until the second half.
   In a big Watauga Valley Conference battle, Cloudland had a solid second half with good defense in a 50-38 win.
   North Greene's biggest success was the inside game of Chelsea Wright, who dropped 21 points on the night.
   Cloudland was led by the solid play of Jessica Lunsford, who dropped 11 of her team-high 16 points in the second stanza.
   The Lady Huskies trailed by three at the end of the first half.
   Lindsey Evans, Vanessa Dykes and Kimberly Wilcox hit some big buckets for North Greene, while North Greene's Haley Williams was a non-factor in the game.
   Cloudland stretched things out with buckets from Jessica McGuire and April Williams in the second half. Heather Banner and Crystal Arnold also dropped a handful for the 'Landers.
   McGuire finished in double-digits with 14 points for the 'Lander ladies. Williams, Arnold and Banner added 8, 6 and 5 respectively.