With their gym now closed until further notice, Cleveland hosted Soddy-Daisy in their first District 5-AAA home game of the season down the road at Cleveland Middle School.
The change of venue may have taken the teams out of their comfort zone, but by the end of the night a clean sweep was had by the Cleveland basketball teams.
The Lady Raiders got things started for the evening with a 52-33 win over the Lady Trojans.
“I’m excited for them to continue to win ballgames. I’ve heard on Sports Center that it doesn’t have to be aesthetically beautiful, it just matters how pretty the scoreboard is at the end,” head coach Mindy Kiser explained. “Our kids had an extremely emotional day. It was an interesting environment, but it was good. A lot of the kids went to school here (CMS) and we were able to play on that and have some pride in it.”
Jenna Scoggins got things started for Cleveland with a quick 3-pointer in the first 30 seconds of play.
By the end of the first quarter and following a pair of treys by Nora Berry, the Lady Raiders had a 17-10 lead over the Lady Trojans.
“I thought Jenna Scoggins and Nora Berry played extremely well,” Kiser said.
Soddy-Daisy was able to shave Cleveland’s lead to five points with just under four minutes left, which only intensified things on the court.
Moments after netting a 3-pointer, Cleveland junior Bre Ware and Hannah Smith of Soddy were ejected from the game following a brief physical altercation on the court with 1:11 left in the first half.
The Lady Raiders still had a firm 30-19 lead over the Lady Trojans going into the half.
In the third quarter a trio of Soddy-Daisy 3-pointers resulted in the visitors outscoring Cleveland by two points, but the Lady Raiders still finished with a nine-point lead.
The fourth quarter was solidified for Cleveland by a plethora of fouls on Soddy.
In the 15 points added to the Lady Raiders’ scoresheet, 11 of those came from the free-throw line.
Berry racked up a total of 21 points Tuesday evening, with Scoggins netting 10 points.
While pleased with the final outcome of the game, Coach Kiser is glad to have the rest of the week to practice before the Lady Raiders head to Bradley Central on Tuesday.
“Our effort was misdirected at times I think, but we’ll work it out, keep practicing and plug it away. The good thing is that we have some time to practice this week before we play Bradley next week,” Kiser commented. “We’re going to have to work with different lineups and continue to work on the fundamentals.”
RAIDERS 62, TROJANS 54
Tuesday marked the third game of the season for the Raiders, but for head coach Jason McCowan, if felt like the first game.
“To me this was our first game of the year. We’re extremely rusty and had about a practice and a half to get ready for this game. We’ve got a lot to work on and that’s obvious,” McCowan said. “I think our effort was good, but it was just sloppy. We’re fortunate in our schedule that we don’t play the rest of the week so we can iron out some of the kinks.”
With football season officially over, Cleveland welcomed back Isaiah Beaty, Rod Dennard and Jake Gibson back to their roster.
The Raiders were able to start the evening out strong, as four 3-point bombs in the first quarter gave them a quick 16-7 lead over the Trojans.
Two of those treys came from Kendrick Johnson, with Colby Tatum and Gibson netting one apiece.
Soddy battled back in the second quarter, outscoring Cleveland 17-11 and narrowing the Raider lead to just three points at the half.
Fifteen points later, the Raiders were able to maintain control of the game as Anfernee Scott netted two 3-pointers and Thompson banked his third and final trey of the night.
While the Trojans added 18 more points to the scoreboard in the final quarter, Cleveland was able to net 11 points from the free-throw line, as well as a trio of baskets and another 3-pointer by Scott to hang on and get their first win of the season.
Thompson finished the game with 19 points, while both Scott and Tatum each had nine points.
“I was really pleased with some of the shots that Colby Tatum took in the first half. You’ve got to give Kendrick credit, each and every night he’s going to be faced with the best defensive players. He gives a great effort out there,” McCowan commented.
With a 1-2 overall record, Coach McCowan has some key things to work on before heading to Bradley next week.
“We need to work on communication and shot selection. We’re still having trouble picking up who we’re going to guard,” McCowan explained. “If we don’t communicate well at Bradley it will make for a long evening. We could’ve taken it to the rim a little bit better, and we kind of settled.”
Cleveland and Bradley Central will face off at Jim Smiddy Arena on Dec. 10, with the girls’ game beginning at 6.
Soddy-Daisy 10 9 9 5 — 33
Cleveland 17 13 7 15 — 52
LADY TROJANS (33) — Mallory Wade 11, Hale 9, Hopkins 6, Hancock 4, King 3, Harris, Sims, Smith, Ward, Phillips, Woodward.
LADY RAIDERS (52) — Nora Berry 21, Jenna Scoggins 10, McClendon 6, Walkup 5, Morman 4, Ware 4, Phillips 1, Stamatiadis 1, Crump.
3-POINTERS: Soddy 6 (Wade 3, Hale 2, Hancock); Cleveland 5 (Berry 2, Ware, Scoggins, Walkup).
FREE THROWS: Soddy 8-of-17; Cleveland 15-of-25.
RECORDS: Cleveland 3-1, 1-0 District 5-AAA.
Soddy-Daisy 7 17 12 18 — 54
Cleveland 16 11 15 20 — 62
TROJANS (54) — James York 15, Marshae Jeffries 11, Andy Wright 10, Floyd 8, Whymer 3, Eller 3, Amos 2, Carter 2, Landreth, Kearney, Shaughnessy, Treadway, Flippo.
RAIDERS (62) —Kendrick Thompson 19, Scott 9, Tatum 9, C. Ware 7, T. Ware 6, Beaty 5, Vecchio 4, Gibson 3, Brown, Bracero, Dennard, Munoz, Oliver, McRee.
3-POINTERS: Soddy 5 (Floyd 2, York, Whimer, Eller); Cleveland 9 (Thompson 3, Scott 3, T. Ware, Tatum).
FREE THROWS: Soddy 3-of-5; Cleveland 11-of-23.
RECORDS: Cleveland 1-2, 1-0 District 5-AAA.