By Ed Greif
The Cumberland County High School basketball teams' season ended this weekend in the opening round of the Region 3AAA Tournament, as the Jets were beaten by Cleveland 54-49 Saturday night, and the Lady Jets lost 87-45 at Bradley Central Friday night.
Cleveland 54, CCHS 49: The Cleveland Blue Raiders ralled from an 11-point first-quarter deficit to defeat the Jets Saturday night before a large crowd in the CCHS gym.
The Jets used two 6-0 first-quarter runs to build a 16-4 lead, but Cleveland finished the quarter with a 5-4 run to reduce the deficit to 20-9. Dylan Qualls had nine points for the Jets, who were eight of 11 from the field. Cleveland was five of 10 from the floor.
The Blue Raiders opened the second quarter with a 10-0 run to slice the lead to 20-19, before Diego Poore converted a layup to stop the bleeding at 22-19; however, Cleveland finished the stanza with an 8-5 run to tie the game at 27-27 at the break.
CCHS cooled off from the field, hitting two of 10 with four turnovers, while Cleveland was seven of 14 with two miscues.
Cleveland scored eight unanswered points to start the third quarter for a 35-27 lead with 5:24 left in the period. Baskets by J.J. Miller and Dylan Qualls sliced the lead to 35-32, but the Raiders used a 13-3 spurt to take a 48-35 lead by quarter's end.
The Jets opened the final quarter with an 8-0 run to slice the lead to 48-43 with under four minutes left in the game; however, baskets by Johnson and Raekwon Bunlon put the Raiders ahead 52-43 with 1:24 remaining in the game. Buckets by Logan Parsons and Qualls sliced the deficit to 52-47 with 43 seconds left. After a Raider turnover, Miller converted two free throws to make it 52-49 with 31.5 ticks left, but CCHS fouled Raiders Anfernee Scott and D.J. Jones, who both missed front ends of one-plus-ones; however, CCHS couldn't convert those into scores.
A layup by Mason Brown made the final score 54-49, sending the Raiders into the Region 3AAA semi-finals Tuesday night against cross-time rival Bradley Central in a rematch of a District 5AAA semi-final last week.
CCHS was 19 of 50 from the field and eight of 10 from the charity stripe with 11 turnovers, while Cleveland was 21 of 38 from the floor and three of 11 from the charity stripe with 17 turnovers.
Leading the Jets were Poore (six points, one rebound, one assist), Qualls (14 points, nine rebounds, two assists), Miller (six points, three rebounds), Tayler Houston (17 points, two rebounds, one assist, four steals), Cade Smith, Logan Parsons (four points, three rebounds, two steals) and Cameron O'Rourke (two points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal).
Bradley Central 87, CCHS 45: Gina Dick led the Lady Jets with 23 points, two rebounds and one assist. Rounding out the stats were Makenzie iles (two points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal), Maddi Potter (two points), Alli Hyder (one rebound, one assist), Sloane VanWinkle (six points, one rebound), Victoria Lee (two rebounds), Madi McLaughlin, Skylar VanWinkle (one assist), Rebekah Teeple (four points, six rebounds), Kelsie Eldridge (three rebounds) and Kassidy Sommer (eight points, two rebounds, three steals).
The Bearettes had three players in double figures — Kaylon Whitrow (26 points), Whitney Donaldson (15 points)and Brooke Copeland (15 points).
It was all Bradley Central from the beginning — opening the game with a 7-0 run and building the lead to 22-9 by quarter's end. The closest the Lady Jets got was five points (14-9) late in the quarter.
BCHS finished the quarter with a 8-0 run for the 22-9 lead, and then reeled off 18 unanswered points for a 40-9 advantage. Sommer converted two free throws with 2:46 left to stop the bleeding, but a trey by Whitrow sparked a 8-2 run for a 48-13 lead at the break.
The Bearettes were 20 of 30 from the field, including four of 10 from behind the arc with three turnovers. Dick had seven of the Lady Jets' 13 points. CCHS was five of 28 from the field in the first half.
BCHS continued their torrid shooting (11 of 16) to outscore CCHS 25-16 for a 73-29 lead after three quarters, but CCHS won the fourth quarter 16-14 for the final margin of 87-45.
Dick had 16 seconds half points, while Sloane VanWinkle had two treys. Teeple and Sommer added four points apiece in the second half.