CROSSVILLE — In the first two meetings between the Cleveland girls and the Cumberland County girls, the Lady Jets dominated the Lady Raiders by a combined total of 161-99.
Cleveland fared little better Friday, ending their season with another lopsided loss, losing to Cumberland 73-31 in the opening round of the Region 3-AAA tournament. The defeat puts an end to the up and down season for the Lady Raiders, who finished the year with a 12-12 mark.
The Lady Jets take a 27-4 record to the region semifinals in Cookeville, where they will face McMinn County Monday.
"It's always tough coming to Cumberland County. There is a lot of history from the old district set up. We knew it was going to be a battle," said Cleveland Coach Mindy Kiser.
Nora Berry and Jenna Scoggins gave the Lady Raiders their last lead of the game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter. Cleveland found itself in early foul trouble as Cumberland built a 26-10 lead late in the first.
The Lady Raiders suffered a blow when Sarah Crump went down with a knee injury with less than 30 seconds left in the first. Cleveland took another crippling shot two minutes later with Scoggins leaving the game in the second quarter on a gimp ankle.
Crump would not return to action and was scheduled for an injury assessment Saturday. Scoggins returned to action at the start of the second half and battled through the final two quarters.
"We definitely got some surprises to start the game. We got into a little quick foul trouble," said Kiser.
"Sarah hurt her knee; Jenna went down with an ankle injury. There were just some unbelievable, improbable things happen to us tonight."
The replacement Raiders fought hard in the absence of the two starters, cutting a 21-point Cumberland lead to 14 at the end of the first half.
"I'm really proud of our kids. I had people playing tonight more than they have played all year," praised Kiser.
The Lady Jets quickly picked up the pace in the third, rebuilding the lead to 21 then 31 before the end of the quarter. Cumberland steadily increased the cushion in the final eight minutes.
"We did some really good things. I don't think they ever stopped. They battled to the end. We were doing everything we could within our abilities, no doubt about that," said Kiser of the Cleveland effort.
"Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do in the off season. I think the commitment level is there. I told the juniors they are seniors now and to continue to be special. I know they will," Kiser said of her upcoming upperclassmen. "It's sad to see Nora [Berry] go. She's had a great career for us. She's really matured and moved up."
Region 3-AAA Girls Tournament
Cleveland 10 10 7 4 — 31
Cumberland County 28 4 24 17 — 73
LADY RAIDERS (31) — Berry 8, Buckner 8, Phillips 5, McClendon 4, Scoggins 3, Person 2, Ware. Barton, Crump, Walkup.
LADY JETS (73) — Makenzie Iles 29, Destiny Carlton 15, Dick 9, Teeple 5, Eldridge 5, Clark 4, Hyde 3, Vanwinkle 2, Davis 1, Norrod, Lee, McLaughlin, Smith.
3-point goals: Cleveland 4 (Berry 2, Scoggins, Phillips); Cumberland 5 (Iles 2, Carlton 2, Teeple).
Records: Cleveland 13-15; Cumberland County 27-4.