While the Lady Raiders and Raiders may have had some dust to shake off, the teams were able to come out on top of both East Hamilton teams.
The night turned into an extraordinary one for senior Nora Berry, who at 5:17 of the third quarter, crossed over the 1,000-point mark with one of her “signature” 3-point shots.
“As far as an offense player, Nora has started to mature quite a lot and has started to use both hands. Her teammates look for her to hit that 3-point shot but she also has the ability to post up when there is an undersized guard guarding her,” Cleveland head coach Mindy Kiser stated.
Berry, who found out about her milestone night after the game, had a smile on her face that spoke a thousand words.
“I thought I would hit 1,000 points, but I didn’t know it would be so soon. It didn’t feel like it,” Berry proclaimed. “I’m going to try to keep going up.”
The Grambling State signee, who has been a leader for her team all season, was more focused on the team as they approach the final stretch of the regular season.
“Ever since the Ooltewah game, which was a shocker, we’ve been taking it one game at a time since we overlooked them. I believe in this team,” Berry stated.
It took the Lady Raiders until late in the second half to gain a more solid lead over the Lady Hurricanes.
“We’ve only played two games in like two weeks, and in that time we haven’t had a lot of practice,” Kiser explained.
At the half, Cleveland trailed East Hamilton 13-12.
According to Kiser, it was the overall team effort that pulled things together and secured the district win.
“Sarah Crump played really well tonight and Jenna (Scoggins) took care of the ball like she has throughout the year. Jamiyah (Person) sort’ve had her bell rung there in the first half, but she was able to get back in there and guard well,” Kiser said. “Hallea (McClendon) ran the floor tremendously and Amber (Morman) came in and got some huge rebounds and good defensive stops. Bre (Ware) does a great job on the offensive glass. As far as team effort goes, we performed well. It’s everybody, and it’s different people at different times and that’s what’s so special about this group.”
The Lady Raiders bounced back in the third quarter, netting 13 points to the Lady Hurricane’s 9.
A hard fought fourth quarter came down to the final few minutes, where a total seven free-throws by various Lady Raiders gave them the 42-38 edge over East Hamilton.
While Berry led the team with 17 points, McClendon racked up a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Thanks to the weather resulting in rescheduled games, the Lady Raiders will have quite a tough stretch to finish out the regular season which includes three district games.
“We’ve got four games next week and then the following Monday. We’re in a tricky spot in the district as far as seeding goes, so every game means a lot to us. We have an opportunity to control our destiny down this next stretch,” Kiser said. “I’m very proud of the way they’ve performed down this past stretch. We’ll stay focused, calm and have some fun.”
In their last meeting, East Hamilton eeked out a 68-62 victory over a stunned Cleveland team.
Saturday night, the Raiders were able to correct the record books and earn themselves an ever-important District 5-AAA win as they defeated the Hurricanes by 19 points.
“We took better shots and got to the rim more instead of settling for 3’s. We had poor shot selection the first time we played them. This time we stuck to our defensive positions better, which made a difference,” Cleveland head coach Jason McCowan said.
Things looked solid for Cleveland, who jumped out with a 21-12 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The tables turned in the second quarter though, as the Raiders were only able to net eight points to the Hurricanes’ 18 points.
Cleveland’s offensive struggles resulted in them trailing East Hamilton 30-29 at the half.
“We played a great first quarter, and then as good as we played in first quarter, we turned around and played that poorly in the second quarter,” McCowan stated.
The Raiders were able to turn things around in the third quarter by outscoring the Hurricanes 28-8, and had a second half that Coach McCowan was very pleased with.
“We started the third quarter out on an 8-0 run and kept on rolling from there,” McCown said.
While both teams finished the game out with 15 points apiece, it was Cleveland’s stellar third quarter that gave them the 19 point edge.
McCowan noted that this game marked the first game that a player besides Kendrick Thompson led the team in scoring.
TyQwon Ware netted 24 points in the win, Thompson followed directly behind with 23 and Anfernee Scott finished with 10 points.
TyQwon and Thompson also played a big roll on Cleveland’s defensive efforts.
“TyQwon brought a lot of energy. He was on the ball 90 percent of the night and gave them a lot of problems with his energy and quickness,” McCowan commented. “Kendrick was pretty high in double figures and rebounding. He did a good job securing the rebound.”
With five more games coming up in the next eight days, the Raiders will work to break their second place district tie with Ooltewah.
“It’s in our favor to play as many teams as we do. Our main focus will be Tuesday, Friday and Monday,” McCowan declared.
Cleveland 8 4 13 17 — 42
East Hamilton 4 9 9 16 — 38
LADY RAIDERS (42) — Nora Berry 17, Hallea McClendon 15, Scoggins 6, Crump 2, Person 2, Ware, Stamatiadis, Buckner, Borton, Walkup, Morman, Phillips.
LADY HURRICANES (38) — Kyndall Caudle 13, Rhyne Howard 11, Stovall 7, Zackney 5, Woods 2.
3-POINTERS: CHS 5 (Berry 4, Scoggins); EH 4 (Howard 2, Zackney, Caudle).
FREE THROWS: CHS 9-of-15; EH 15-of-22.
RECORDS: Cleveland 10-9, 5-4 District 5-AAA; East Hamilton 4-19, 2-7 District 5-AAA.
Cleveland 21 8 28 15 — 72
East Hamilton 12 18 8 15 — 53
RAIDERS (72) — TyQwon Ware 24, Kendrick Thompson 23, Anfernee Scott 10, C. Ware 6, Tatum 5, Beaty 4, Brown, Bracero, Vecchio, Dennard, K. Ware, Gibson, McRee, Goode.
HURRICANES (53) — Mac Brower 15, Bunton 8, Thompson 5, Wright 5, Griffth 4, Wingard 4, Lowery 4, Sparks, Chacko, Beach, Durah.
3-POINTERS: CHS 9 (T. Ware 3, Thompson 3, Scott 2, Tatum); EH 3 (Bunton, Wright, Brower).
FREE THROWS: CHS 11-of-15; EH 19-of-23.
RECORDS: Cleveland 12-5, 7-2 District 5-AAA; East Hamilton 6-17, 3-6 District 5-AAA.