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Originally published: 2012-12-07 10:42:24
Last modified: 2012-12-07 10:42:24

Cloudland highlanders take Trojan Tip-Off Classic title

Matt Laws / (

The ‘Landers cruised to a 75-43 victory over Wise Central on Saturday, Dec. 1, to win the Trojan Tip-Off Classic at John Battle High School in Bristol, Va. Cloudland defeated Johnson County 56-40 to advance to the title game, and rallied past Virginia High 75-65 in the tournament’s opening round.

On Saturday night, Cloudland jumped out early on Wise as it look an 18-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a 32-21 lead at the half. The game was never in question during the second half as the ‘Landers outscored the Warriors 24-13 in the third quarter, and never looked back en route to the victory.

Jeffery Rhinehart led the way with 17 points and 11 total rebounds, while Logan Russell ended the game with 15 points. Devin Whitehead tallied 13 points. Zac Potter and Taylor Whitehead recorded 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Cloudland overcame a slow start offensively against Johnson County on Friday, Nov. 30, to earn the right to play for the title. After falling behind 6-2 to open the game, Cloudland battled back to take a 14-12 lead at the end of the quarter, and used that advantage to take a 27-22 at the end of the first half.

The second half was all Cloudland as the team outscored Johnson County 19-10 in the third quarter to build up a 14-point lead, and that was all it needed to take the victory.

Russell had a team-high 19 points, while Potter tallied 16 points. Whitehead and Mason Carnett had seven and six points, respectively.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the ‘Landers fell behind early, but battled back in the tournament’s opening game against Virginia High. The Bearcats led by five at the end of the first quarter, and then led by as many as 10 in the second quarter. However, Cloudland closed the half on a run to cut its deficit as it trailed 36-30 at the break.

The ‘Landers took control of the second half as the team started the third quarter on a 15-4 run to regain the lead. From there it was all Cloudland as the team outscored the Bearcats 28-20 in the final quarter to secure the victory.

Potter led the way with 21 points, while Rhinehart had 17 points. Russell ended the game with 10 points. Carnett and D. Whitehead had nine and eight points, respectively.

Cloudland returns to action on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8, as it participates in the Round Ball in the Hall in Johnson City. The ‘Landers will square off against Webb School on Friday at 5:30 p.m., and then play the Christian Academy of Knoxville on Saturday at 4 p.m.