In their first time facing each other on the court as District 5-AAA rivals, Cleveland saw mixed results against East Hamilton’s basketball squads.
While the Lady Raiders commanded a strong 54-21 win over the Lady Hurricanes, the Raiders spent three quarters on top of the Hurricanes only to be swept away in the final quarter.
Following their tough 57-28 loss to cross-town rival Bradley Central, Cleveland was able to turn things around for a dominating performance Friday evening.
“We had a really good, focused two days of practice,” Lady Raiders head coach Mindy Kiser said.
The practice was evident as Cleveland had a six point lead over East Hamilton after the first quarter.
The Lady Raiders scored 13 unanswered points, nine of which came from a trio of 3-pointers from Nora Berry, in the second quarter before the Lady Hurricanes were able to get a basket with 3:17 left in the half.
By half time, Cleveland had added 19 more points to the board, while East Hamilton was only able to get five.
Cleveland’s dominance carried over into the third quarter as they outscored their district opponent 14-3.
With a 46-15 lead going into the final quarter, the Lady Raiders added eight more points to the board in their final eight minutes of play to get the 54-21 victory.
Berry racked up 20 points in the game and hit five treys, while Jamiyah Person finished with 10 points.
The Lady Raiders were 6-for-10 at the free throw line, while the Lady Hurricanes were 4-for-16.
East Hamilton had a total of 21 turnovers in the game, while Cleveland only had nine.
“We’ve been really working on getting our hands up on defense and being aggressive but not overly aggressive. Our box outs on rebounding has to improve, but overall I thought it was a really good effort and we were able to work on some different defenses and lineups,” Kiser explained. “Hopefully we can hit a stride here right before Christmas and build on that for the second half of the year.”
“As many things as we did good for three quarters, we erased all of that in the fourth quarter. Being up nine and then losing by six is just very confusing,” Cleveland head coach Jason McCowan said. “I’m at a loss for words. It was 51-42 in our favor going into the fourth quarter and I felt like we had them tired and were playing really well. We just made some really boneheaded, selfish plays that fueled East Hamilton.”
While the Hurricanes got on the board first, it was the Raiders who finished the first quarter out with a five point, 19-14 lead.
In the second quarter, Cleveland saw East Hamilton take a one point lead four minutes in, but was able to come back and end the half up 35-29.
After the half, the Raiders came out and added 16 more points to the scoreboard, while East Hamilton was held to their lowest scoring quarter of the game with 13 points.
“I was very happy with the pace and I thought the game was going in our favor. We forced a lot of turnovers, but then again if you don’t turn those into points and get them away from you they can get back in it, which they eventually did,” McCowan commented.
Despite controlling the game for three quarters and wearing down the Hurricanes, the Raiders were swept away in the fourth quarter.
East Hamilton came to life in the final eight minutes of play, outscoring Cleveland 26-11.
Foul trouble was costly to the Raiders, as 12 of those 26 points came from the free-throw line.
“We made five or six plays in a row that were really careless,” McCowan said. “It was like we were playing a summer league game and not a home, district basketball game.”
With 2:43 remaining, the Hurricanes had things evened up at 56 all with the Raiders.
The tied game turned in East Hamilton’s favor as the Raiders began their stretch of foul trouble, and the visitors jumped ahead 59-56.
After two more trips to the free-throw line East Hamilton had a seven point, 63-56 lead over Cleveland with 53 seconds left in the game.
Colby Tatum hit a trey that narrowed the gap, but three more trips to the free-throw line gave the Hurricane’s five more points on the board with mere seconds remaining on the clock.
Tatum hit one more 3-pointer prior to the final buzzer, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Raiders from losing 68-62.
“I’m just shocked at our lack of urgency and lack of taking care of the ball. In my 13 years of coaching I’ve never seen us get a team that tired and then lose,” McCowan declared.
Kendrick Thompson led Cleveland in scoring with a total of 26 points, while Tatum finished with 11 points. Both Thompson and Tatum hit three, 3-pointers.
The Raiders were 11-for-15 free throw line while the Hurricanes were 15-for-18.
Cleveland will be back in action on Tuesday when Rhea County comes to town.
East Hamilton 7 5 3 6 — 21
Cleveland 13 19 14 8 — 54
LADY HURRICANES (21) — Zackery 7, Woods 6, Stovall 4, Candle 2, Black 1, Zeh 1, Petitt, Denton, Wood, Giles, Maston.
LADY RAIDERS (54) — Nora Berry 20, Jamiyah Person 10, Scoggins 8, McClendon 8, Stamatiadis 4, Walkup 2, Phillips 2, Borton, Crump, Mastin.
3-POINTERS: Cleveland 6 (Berry 5, Scoggins); EH 1 (Zackery).
FREE THROWS: Cleveland 6-of-10; EH 4-of-16.
RECORDS: Cleveland 4-2, 2-1; EH 1-7, 0-3 .
East Hamilton 14 15 13 26 — 68
Cleveland 19 16 16 11 — 62
HURRICANES (68) — Kenny Bunton 18, Mac Brower 13, Tracy Thompson 10 Beach 8, Lowery 6, Sparks 3, Chacka 3, Wright 3, Wingard 2, Griffith 2, Jackson.
RAIDERS (62) — Kendrick Thompson 26, Colby Tatum 11, Brown 6, Dennard 5, Scott 5, C. Ware 3, Beaty 2, Bracero, Munoz, Oliver, Gibson, McRee, T. Ware.
3-POINTERS: Cleveland 7 (Thompson 3, Tatum 3, Scott); EH 3 (Sparks, Bunton, Wright).
FREE THROWS: Cleveland 11-of-15; EH 15-of-18.
RECORDS: Cleveland 1-4, 1-2; EH 4-5, 2-1 .