Coming off Friday night’s games against a pair of blazing Ooltewah Owl squads, the Blue Raiders and Lady Raiders of Cleveland faced a change of speed Saturday night when they played host to a pair of Christian Academy of Knoxville teams.
The Blue Raiders showed a little fatigue down the stretch from playing back-to-back nights, but still put on a dominating performance on the way to a 63-49 victory.
Cleveland’s girls nearly avenged their season opening loss to CAK, but single-digit scoring down the stretch effectively ended any hope of a rally as the Lady Warriors took the 48-41 win.
Raiders 63, Warriors 49
It was a 180-degree change style-wise as the Blue Raiders of Cleveland had to switch from the break-neck place set by Ooltewah Friday to a more methodical inside game presented by CAK Saturday.
“CAK plays such a different game from Ooltewah. It’s really two contrasting styles. Ooltewah just goes off the offensive boards so well. CAK isn’t as athletic, but the do pose some very unique problems,” said Raider head coach Jason McCowan.
Cleveland got off to a crazy hot start when Kendrick Thompson, Jahmal Johnson and D.J. Jones went for back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game.
The long-range shelling had the Raiders up 23-12 at the end of the first quarter, but averages have a way of evening out. In the second quarter 3-point shooting started drifting a little farther away from the 80-percent mark.
Nine points were all Cleveland could muster in the second quarter when the trey-well dried up. Luckily for the home team, CAK could only muster four points of their own.
Scoring woes continued in the third quarter for Raiders. On the other side of the ball the Warriors picked up their pace of play, going on a 13-4 run to end the third quarter and cutting the lead to just 10 points.
Intentional fouling didn’t pay dividends in the fourth quarter for CAK as Cleveland went 11-for-16 from the stripe in the fourth to effectively fend off the Warrior advance, winning by the final of 63-49.
“Our guys did a good job of hitting the 3-pointer early. As a coach you just hope they don’t fall in love with it because eventually that’s probably going to cool off. But, I thought our guys did a good job of adapting, getting inside and finding the open man,” explained McCowan. “We were a little selfish towards the end of the first half, and that reflected in our scoring.”
Thompson led Raider scoring with 19 points. C.J. Bryant contributed 13, and Johnson rounded out double-digit scoring with 10.
Lady Warriors 48
Lady Raiders 41
In the first game of their 2012-13 season the Cleveland Lady Raiders fell to CAK 63-45, one of their only two looses up until Saturday night.
But, the Lady Warriors struck again, handing Cleveland’s girls their third loss on the season via a 48-41 decision.
Play was tight through the first quarter as Cleveland jumped out to an early lead, but CAK wouldn’t fall far behind. At the end of the frame, the home team led by a slim 15-12 margin.
Second quarter play was highlighted by Cleveland High School’s fire alarm going off with two minutes left in the half. Everyone was cleared out of the gym while the situation was assessed.
After a short break everyone re-entered the dome and play resumed with the Lady Warriors going on an 8-2 run to end the first half and send things into the locker room at a razor-thin 23-22.
CAK’s defense really made the difference in the third quarter as Cleveland’s shot selection started to suffer due to a big Lady Warrior presence in the paint.
At the end of three, CAK had gained a 36-32 lead. Stellar clock management and holding the Lady Raiders to single-digit scoring for the third straight quarter helped the visiting Lady Warrior complete their two-game sweep of Cleveland’s girls.
“I felt like we played a much better game this time around. When we went down there to start the season we didn’t play very well. But, from then to now our interior defense has really picked up, and we were also able to do some scoring from inside as well,” stated Lady Raider head coach Mindy Kiser.
“We did get into some foul trouble early. That has gotten us in trouble the last couple of night and has forced us to change our lineup a little. We missed some free throws late and had some bad shot attempts. Those are some of things we are going to have to work on moving forward.”
Freshman Shawnia Anderson led scoring with 21 points. Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad netted 11.
Lady Raiders 60
Lady Owls 51
The Lady Raiders won a tough nine-point victory over the Lady Owls of Ooltewah Friday night.
In a physical battle from start to finish, Anderson fought for 19 point to lead Cleveland.
Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad added 15 and Nora Berry's 15 helped the Lady Raiders hold off the unintimidated Lady Owls.
Ooltewah's 6-foot-2 senior Leondra Barrett led all scoring with 25.
Ooltewah broke a 4-4 tie in the first quarter to take a 9-4 lead. Anderson replied with two field goals and a pair of free throws to put the Lady Raiders on top 10-9.
Cleveland did not trail the rest of the way.
The Lady Raiders built on a 16-1 first quarter lead and walked off the floor at half time with a 29-20 cushion after scoring the final eight points of the second quarter.
Leading by 11 midway through the third, the Lady Raiders still led by 10 points, 43-33 as the fourth quarter opened. Both teams went into high gear from the floor with Cleveland scoring 17 points to Ooltewah's 18 to win by nine.
Owls 64, Raiders 62
From the beginning, the battle of unbeatens in District 5-AAA play looked like a game that could come down the final possession. It did, albeit from the free-throw line.
Ooltewah dropped in two tosses with 17 seconds left to play, just enough to hold off a determined Cleveland team. D.J. Jones' scored a final two points for the Raiders with four seconds left to cut the final to two points.
Jones led Cleveland with 17 points while Kendrick Thompson hit double figures with 11.
A fast and furious first quarter ended in an 18-18 tie. Thompson and Jones hit back-to-back 3-pointers to bring Cleveland back from a 1-point deficit before Ooltewah countered with the final points of the quarter to tie the it up.
A scoring slow down put the Raiders in a 23-18 hole early in the second. Cleveland managed only eight points in the period while Ooltewah piled in 18 for a 36-26 lead at halftime.
Thompson opened the third with a 3 and field goal to cut the Owls' lead to 36-31. Back-to-back from Jahmal Johnson and Anfernee Scott pulled the Raiders closer and Raekwon Bunion tied the game at 41-41 a minute later.
The Owl pulled to a 47-46 lead as time ran out in the third.
Four minutes into the fourth quarter, Cleveland managed only three free-throw points as Ooltewah pulled out to a 55-49 lead.
Jones scored the Raiders' first field goal with 1:48 left to play to make it 55-51.
After two more Cleveland free throws, the Raiders put nine more points on the scoreboard from the floor while Ooltewah went to the line and hit 10-of-13 shots to lock up the two-point win and hand the Blue Raiders their first loss of the season.
CAK 12 10 14 12 — 48
Cleveland 15 8 9 9 — 41
LADY WARRIORS — Kaycee Heitzman 21, Kelsey Noler 14, Dodson 2, Hammaker 9, McClanaham 2.
LADY RAIDERS — Shawnia Anderson 21, Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad 11, Berry 3, Ginestri 3.
3-POINTERS: CAK 1 (Heitzman); Cleveland 2 (Berry, Ginestri).
FREE THROWS: CAK 7-of-15; Cleveland 17-of-28.
RECORDS: CAK 6-2; Cleveland 7-3.
CAK 12 4 17 16 — 49
Cleveland 23 9 11 20 — 63
WARRIORS — Oteriah Lee 11, Lucas Campbell 4, Dylan Keck 16, Homan 2, Nick Campbell 10, Kendrick 6.
RAIDERS — Kendrick Thompson 19, C.J. Bryant 13, Jahmal Johnson 10, Beaty 8, Scott 3, Ware, Little 2, Jones 7.
3-POINTERS: CAK 3 (Lee, Keck, N. Campbell); Cleveland 9 (Bryant, Thompson 3, Scott, Johnson 3, Jones).
FREE THROWS: CAK 4-of-7; Cleveland 16-of-22.
RECORDS: CAK 2-5; Cleveland 7-1.
Ooltewah 11 9 13 18 — 51
Cleveland 16 13 14 17 — 60
LADY OWLS (51) — Leondra Barrett 25, Cross 8, Taylor 5, Jones 4, Hall 3, Kennedy 4, Cooper, Baker, Young.
LADY RAIDERS (60) — Shawnia Anderson 19, Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad 15, Nora Berry 14, S. Anderson 8, McClendon 2, Scoggins 1, Ginestri, Crump.
3-point goals: Ooltewah 3 (Cross, Taylor, Barrett); Cleveland 2 (Berry 2).
Records: Ooltewah 2-9, 0-5 District 5-AAA; Cleveland 7-2, 3-1 District 5-AAA.
Ooltewah 18 18 11 17 — 64
Cleveland 18 8 20 16 — 62
OWLS (64) — Ben Snider 14, Jacqueeze Robinson 14, Antonio Jackson 13, Daaren Maston 12, Ware 6, Fritz 1, Boyd 4, Pressley, Bass.
BLUE RAIDERS (62) — D.J. Jones 17, Kendrick Thompson 11, Bryant 7, Johnson 6, scott 6, Ware 4, Bunion 4, Little 2.
3-point goals: Ooltewah 6 (Jackson 2, Robinson 2, Snider, Maston); Cleveland 9 (Thompson 2, Jones 2, Scott 2, Bryant, Johnson, Ware).
Records: Ooltewah 7-1, 5-0 District 5-AAA; Cleveland 6-1, 3-1 District 5-AAA.