January 16th , 2013 3:32 am Leave a comment

‘Landers’ seniors in midst of special hoops run

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When this group of boys began lacing their basketball shoes, something special was in the air.

By the time Cloudland’s four seniors brought their talents to the high school floor they were a well-seasoned unit.

Under head coach Brandon Carpenter, the group of Dylan McClellan, Zac Potter, Taylor Whitehead and Devin Whitehead has grown into one of the more pivotal classes of basketball players in the program’s history.

“They work hard and they’re talented, but the most important thing is they’re a team,” Carpenter said last week. “They don’t care who scores or who gets the recognition. They’re team first.”

It’s been that way since these boys began playing together in grade school.

“We’ve been together since we were tiny,” said Taylor Whitehead. “We’ve always been pretty good together and we’ve kind of grown to where we mesh with each other.”

Said McClellan: “From the time we picked up a basketball, we’ve been together. We all have a great work ethic and love playing basketball together.”

In junior high, the unity and work ethic led to wins.

“We knew we had something with this because we were all like brothers before then,” Devin Whitehead said. “We just kept playing and got better and better every year.”

Added Taylor: “We balled it.”

At the high school level, the group has helped Cloudland post an 86-34 mark, including this year’s 12-6 record and a No. 9 ranking in the year’s Associated Press Class A poll, with two region championships and a pair of state tournament appearances on the resume.

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