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Happy Valley downs Cloudland at North tournament

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Dec 28, 2018 at 10:12 PM

KINGSPORT—Playing at a neutral site, Happy Valley kicked its defense into high gear against Cloudland at the Kelly Services Christmas basketball tournament at Sullivan North High School.

The Warriors held their Carter County rivals to 10 points or less in the first, third and fourth quarters to take a 56-39 victory on Friday at J. Richard Carroll Gymnasium.

Happy Valley, which was led by Bryce Carter with 14 points and nine rebounds, alternated between a full-court zone and a half-court 2-3 zone, which kept the Highlanders from getting on track.

"We played a lot of zone and we're trying to figure it out," Happy Valley coach Jeremy Maddox said. "I like what we did. I thought our full-court zone gave them some trouble early. Then, our half-court zone. We didn't have anybody I thought could have guarded Bentley (Gilbert) if we played man-to-man. I know they're without some key players, but you'll take whatever you can get."

The Warriors got it done at the free-throw line, hitting all 14 of their attempts. James Harmon scored 11 points for Happy Valley while guard Dylan Willis finished with nine points and three steals. The Warriors had seven steals overall and forced 19 turnovers.

"James can be really good. He doesn't understand how good he can be if he will just relax and play," Maddox said. "Dylan Willis did a really good job of doing what we wanted him to. That was by far his best game of the year, just getting us into our offense and going from there."

Cloudland, playing without three starters, was led by Elijah Blair with 10 points. Robert Leeper and Dillon Johnson each ended with eight points.

"A lot of kids got minutes and that will probably help us down the road," Cloudland coach Gary Harrison said. "We still have to do a better job rebounding. It was a challenge guarding the big kid (Carter) with the kids we're missing. We just have to keep working to get better."

Sullivan South 56, Volunteer 43

The Rebels limited the Falcons to just 25 points through three quarters and Falcons guard Chance Johnson to just six points for the game to earn the semifinal victory.

Chase Bowery led South with 15 points, while Ben Diamond ended with 12, including eight straight after Volunteer cut the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter.

Gavin Parker totaled eight and Caleb Vaughn added seven for the Rebls.

Eli Churchwell had nine points to lead Volunteer with Brody Hunley the second-leading scorer with seven.

South will meet Cherokee in Saturday's championship game at 8 p.m.

Cherokee 63, West Greene 53

Ryan Bledsoe, the defending Big Seven Conference player of the year, scored 32 points to lead the Chiefs over the Buffaloes.

Cherokee pulled out to a 35-27 halftime lead and extended the margin to 14 points heading into the final quarter. With Bledsoe making all 10 of his free throws in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs held on for the win.

Wyatt Watson, the Chiefs’ 6-foot-11 post player, had eight points and Breydon Gilliam tallied seven.

West Greene did most of its damage from the outside, where Kyler Clowers and Allen Vaughn combined for 11 shots from 3-point range and 46 points overall. Clowers had 26 and Vaughn finished with 20.

Chuckey-Doak 58, Sullivan North 49

A six-minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter proved to be the host school's undoing against the Black Knights.

North hit back-to-back 3-point goals to cut the lead to 51-46 early in the fourth quarter. After a Chuckey-Doak timeout, the Golden Raiders didn't score again until a little over a minute to go.

Ethan Palazzo posted a game-high 21 points for the Black Knights. Alex Maupin came through with 16 points, 12 of them from 3-point range.

Trey Williams led North with 13 points. Yancy Dolen contributed 12, followed by Isaiah Pruitt with nine and Dale Potter with eight.

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