The boys squad ruled the roost at the Raider Dome as it defeated Soddy-Daisy 60-36.
The Raiders will have little time to relax as they will be taking on the Owls Tuesday night in Ooltewah with a share of the District 5-AAA lead on the line. The last time Ooltewah was in action was their one-point overtime win over Walker Valley.
With Cleveland currently at 13-8 and 7-2 in district play, while Ooltewah at 14-5 with an 8-1 league mark, the matchup promises to be hard-fought, according to McCowan. When the teams met back in December, the Owls escaped the Raider Dome with a 64-62 victory.
“We’ll be playing Ooltewah next, which will be really tough.”
Despite the fact the Trojans won the tip, it was the Raiders who got on the board first thanks to Dustin Little. Little led Cleveland throughout the first period with six points.
“Dustin Little, from the get-go, was the guy that provided a big spurt for us,” Raider head coach Jason McCowan said.
The Cleveland scoreboard was also added to by Mason Brown, DJ Jones, Cantrel Ware, and a 3-pointer by Jahmal Johnson during the first period.
“I felt like we played really hard defensively and just gave a lot of good effort from the first quarter on,” McCowan reflected.
The second period began with the Trojans trailing by four points, 14-10 but the host Raiders didn’t give the visitors any chance of a comeback.
Soddy-Daisy was only able to gain an additional four points during the second period, while Cleveland racked up 18 more.
Kendrick Thompson and Ware netted a 3-pointer apiece, while CJ Bryant, Little, Johnson, and Jones all contributed to the team’s points.
The first half ended with the Raiders up 32-14.
Cleveland remained dominant in the third period, outscoring Soddy-Daisy by 14 points, with 3-pointers by Ware, Thompson, and Brown. The team effort was further aided by Anfernee Scott, Johnson and Jones.
The Trojans managed to end the game stronger than they had started, and scored 12 points in the fourth period. The Raiders were only able to tally an additional four points, all of which came from the free-throw line.
Despite a strong fourth period by Soddy-Daisy, Cleveland easily won the game 60-36.
“I think we’ve gotten better the last couple weeks, I just want to continue to see us improve. We’ve got some guys playing some pretty good minutes off the bench,” McCowan said.
Point leaders for the Raiders were Little and Thompson, who tallied 10 apiece. Ware and Thompson each scored two 3-pointers, and Brown and Johnson each had a 3-pointer of their own.
Cleveland was 10-for-21 at the free-throw line, while the visitors were 11-for-19. TJ Constant and Johnson were both perfect at the charity stripe, making both of their foul shots.
Soddy-Daisy was led by James York with 11 points.
Cleveland 14 18 24 4 — 60
Soddy-Daisy 10 4 10 12 — 36
Cleveland (60) — Kendrick Thompson 10, Dustin Little 10, Ware 9, Johnson 9, Jones 9, Brown 6, Scott 3, Bryant 2, Constant 2, Dykes, Beaty, McCree.
Soddy-Daisy (36) — James York 11, Carter 9, Christian 6, Landreth 4, Floyd 2, Jeffries 2, Wright 1, Kearney 1, Millsaps, Shaughnessy.
3-point goals: Cleveland 6 (Ware 2, Thompson 2, Brown, Johnson); Soddy-Daisy 3 (Carter 2, York).
Free throws: Cleveland 10-of-21; Soddy-Daisy 11-of-19.
Records: Cleveland 13-8, 6-2 5AAA; Soddy-Daisy 7-13, 1-8