Keenburg comeback stalls Cloudland, Lady Jr. 'Landers dominate

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   Just like the song by Survivor, the 'Eye of the Keenburg Tigers' stayed in the fight, with an impressive comeback win over the Cloudland Jr. Highlanders, 25-21.
   "I think we played good," said Tiger coach Brandon Carpenter, "Chris has a good program going over here, we just came up and got the win. Every time you can win up here is a good one."
   The first quarter was an even race, with Cloudland's Bryan Simmons scoring the first basket taking an early 2-0 lead. Keenburg's Cody Marley tying it up at 2-2.
   Both teams exhibited good defense, keeping it a close contest.
   The second quarter was mostly Highlanders, as James Miller and Jason Winters led the 'Lander scoring charge, with Bryan Simmons playing the sixth man, driving home some critical shots.
   Keenburg didn't give up, as Marley and Preston Carter provided what was necessary to hold the 'Lander lead to three points at the break.
   Hector Garza opened things up for the Tigers at the beginning of the third, and helped carry them to a lead. Justin Palmer connected on some key shots to carry the Tigers to a 17-16 lead after three.
   Keenburg got all of the breaks in the four, making the necessary stops when Cloudland had open players. Crucial missed free throws cost the Highlanders at the end, as Keenburg rolled to a 25-21 win.
   "I thought we played hard and gave a good effort," said Cloudland coach Chris Collins. "We didn't rebound like we needed and just had a terrible night shooting. I'm real proud of the effort these guys put in. They have a good group coming up at Keenburg, Brandon does a terrific job, tonight just wasn't our night."
   Girls B-Game
   Cloudland 50
   Keenburg 6
   The early girls contest was a complete domination from the beginning to the end as the Cloudland Jr. Lady 'Landers toppled the Keenburg Lady Tigers 50-6 in Smith Gymnasium.
   It was an awesome night early for Cloudland's Jessica Ledford, who nailed back-to-back shots, including a three-pointer to put the 'Landers on top early.
   She was backed by a tough defensive crew led by Jessica Lunsford, Nikki Carrow, and Natasha Miller.
   Jody Jones and Katie Bacon got the Tigers on board, and Jessica Trivett also added a field goal to their cause.
   Heather Banner also contributed 11 to the Lady Landers.
   "It was a complete team effort," said Cloudland coach Mike Lunsford, "We had a great opportunity to get some of these girls some playing time. The guards did an outstanding job getting it to the posts, and we handled them real well."