Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Cloudland defeats Lady Devils in overtime thriller

It takes a lot of luck to overcome trouble from the free-throw line.
Luck was on the side of the Lady Landers last week.
Unicoi County (8-2) (2-0) was in action last week with only one game on the schedule, but the single game wouldn’t disappoint with the Lady Devils falling to Cloudland in overtime, 50-46, in Roan Mountain on Monday.
“Cloudland has a great team,” coach Josh Epperson said after the game. “Coach (Matt) Birchfield does a tremendous job up here with the program.”
In a game that saw momentum sway in favor of the Lady Highlanders in a packed house at Sonny Smith Gym, Unicoi would battle back from deficits throughout the game.
“I thought our girls really played hard out there tonight,” the Lady Devil coach explained. “They had some positives out there, but Cloudland has a good team and they came ready to play tonight.”
Cloudland built an early 12-2 lead in the first quarter, but Unicoi would not go away, going on a 6-0 run in the latter part of the quarter, which ended with a Rilie King buzzer-beater to give the Lady Landers a 12-8 lead after one.
King’s name would be called during the night more than once.
The game would be a chess match back and forth during the three remaining quarters of the game.
Unicoi wrapped up the end of regulation with a 11-0 run, with King capping off the run with a three-pointer to help send the game into overtime.
Going into overtime, Cloudland wasted no time with Courtney Clarke draining a three and Bethany Chambers contributing a two-pointer to give Cloudland a safe 46-41 lead to begin the overtime period.
King led yet another comeback attempt for the Lady Devils by draining a three to put the Devils down by one with 51 seconds remaining.
Cloudland, who ended the fourth quarter missing free-throws which aided in the Devils’ rally, would sink two when fouled in overtime. This put the game out of reach for the Lady Devils.
“It’s huge for this team,” Lady Landers’ coach Birchfield said after the game. “The best part about it all was we didn’t quit.”
Cloudland entered the contest 10-2, with one of their losses coming to an undefeated Science Hill squad from Johnson City.
King led the scoring effort for Unicoi with 15 points. Emily Edwards finished with 13 points. Emmie Thompson wrapped up the game leading the Devils in rebounding with 11.
“A loss like this can help us,” Epperson said. “It helps us work on what we need to accomplish for conference play, and any time you can play against a team like Cloudland, it will make you better.”
The Devils opened this week with a highly-anticipated contest against Beth Frye’s Chuckey-Doak Lady Black Knights, in Afton, Tn. on Monday, Dec. 19, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
“It will be a tough game,” Epperson said. “They’ll know how to play us and our team will approach this week to continue working and practicing hard on getting better.”
UCHS will then travel to Unaka to face the Lady Rangers in Stoney Creek, while finishing up the week against Dobyns-Bennett on Thursday, Dec. 22.
Tip-off for the games against Chuckey-Doak and Unaka are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The game against Dobyn’s-Bennett is scheduled for 7 p.m.