MURFREESBORO – Cloudland’s girls led by a point at halftime, but couldn’t handle a hot Union City team down the stretch in a 45-29 loss on Thursday in the Class A state basketball tournament quarterfinals at Murphy Center.
The Lady Highlanders finished 24-12.
Brooke Rhodes, a Ms. Basketball candidate and headed to play collegiately at Presbyterian, totaled 14 points, 15 rebounds and two steals. Courtney Wilson totaled six points and eight boards.
Union City (31-3) moves onto the semifinals today at 3:30 p.m. (EST) against the winner of Clarkrange and Summertown.
The Golden Tornadoes got 14 points from Jackie Hudson. Raven Fair and Tory Reedy added eight apiece, while Tamara Nettles hit six.
The Highlanders were 9 of 14 at the foul line. Union City was a perfect of 11 of 11, 8 of 8 in the final period.
Cloudland’s last lead was 15-13 to open the third quarter. The Tornadoes went up by seven, before the Highlanders pulled within 26-24 heading in the fourth quarter.
The deficit was cut to 31-28, before a pair of 3-pointers from Union City turned the momentum.
The Highlanders grabbed a 14-13 halftime advantage on Rhodes’ put-back at the buzzer. She scored eight before intermission, six in the second quarter.
Union City led 9-4 through one period. The Tornadoes shot 40 percent from the field in the first half, while Cloudland was 26 percent from the floor and went 1 of 2 at the line.
The Highlanders won the battle on the boards 31-29.
This was the Highlanders’ fifth trip to the state tournament, all under Birchfield, without a victory.