“We knew there’d be ups and downs this season. Today was definitely an up,” she declared after her Lady Raiders battered the Lady Rams of Tyner Academy by a 65-19 tally in the opening round of the Best of Preps Christmas Tournament at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.
“We were patient. Took good shots. Played good defense. Got good play from our bench and it doesn’t hurt to have ‘Q’ back,” Kiser assessed.
Sophomore standout Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad has been in and out of the Cleveland lineup due to health issues this season, but has looked good in her last two games.
“We had two real good practices this week and it showed in what we were able to do today,” commented coach Kiser.
With the victory the Lady Raiders even their season record at 6-6 and advance to face Baylor, a 50-23 winner over Northwest Whitfield (Ga.) Wednesday, this evening at 7 p.m. at the historic Steele Gymnasium.
After both teams struggled from the floor in the opening eight minutes, sophomore Nora Berry drilled a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to put Cleveland up 12-5 at the first break.
The Lady Raider offense kicked into high gear in the second frame, netting 20 points while the defense limited Tyner (6-2) to just a half dozen points.
After leading 32-11 at the intermission, Cleveland continued to pour it on in the third quarter adding another 20 points to its total, while the Lady Rams netted just five.
Even the Lady Raider reserves dominated, outscoring Tyner’s bench 13-3 during a “mercy rule,” running-clock shortened frame.
Cleveland stole the ball 14 times as part of 36 Lady Ram turnovers, while the Lady Raiders surrendered just 13 miscues. “We did a good job of taking care of the ball,” coach Kiser praised.
The girls in blue got off 20 more shots than their opponents, sinking 20-of-43 from in front of the arc and 4-of-13 from beyond it. Tyner made just 8-of-36 shots from the field. Cleveland also prospered at the foul line, sinking 13-of-18, while the Lady Rams made just 1-of-6.
Junior Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad led four Lady Raiders in double figures with a game-high 17 points, plus she swiped four steals.
Junior Sydnie Anderson drilled a trio of 3-pointers on her way to 15 points, while “Q” netted 11 and pulled down five rebounds.
Freshman Bre Ware came off the bench to tally 10 points and three steals, while Berry blocked four Lady Ram shots.
No Tyner player scored more than two baskets as their 19 points were spread out among eight players.
Cleveland 12 20 20 13 — 65
Tyner 5 6 5 3 — 19
Lady Raiders (65) — Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad 17, Sydnie Anderson 15, Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad 11, Bre Ware 10, Berry 5, McClendon 3, Capron 2, Brown 2, Perkins, Crump, Scoggins.
Lady Rams (19) — A. Smith 4, Hines 4, Montgomrey 2, Stevens 2, Turner 2, Parks 2, Davis 2, Speight 1, Ashford, Bonds, M. Smith, Rivers, West.
3-pointers: Cleveland 4 (Anderson 3, Berry); Tyner 0.
Free Throws: Cleveland 13-of-18; Tyner 1-of-6.
Records: Cleveland 6-6; Tyner 6-2.