Rangers outlast Hancock County to gain victories
Published 12:34 am Saturday, January 24, 2015
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
Diamonds are forged under intense pressure and sometimes a basketball team can find itself confronted with such strain. On Friday evening Unaka was pressed to the limit by a Hancock County squad looking for an upset road win.
In the end the Rangers held tough and earned a 47-43 win over the Indians in a non conference game at Snavely gym.
Junior point guard Joe Searfoss came through with 24 points including the clinching free throws and the Rangers played tenacious defense the entire night against a team that was a matchup problem.
“We played hard, but we didn’t have much in the tank,” commented Rangers coach Aaron Dugger. “We had a big emotional win last night in a grind out game. Tonight we found a way to win playing (Hancock County) style and I’m proud of them for that.
“We have to play with more composure and keep our heads. We had some bonehead plays at the end that could have cost us. Those are things we can’t have because it puts us in a bad situation.”
The Tribe came out of the first period with a 12-5 lead but with the score 15-10, Unaka went on an 11-0 run and ended the first half with a 24-17 lead.
Searfoss had eight of his game high points in the first half and sophomore Kyler Lewis added seven for the Rangers.
Unaka (6-17 overall) saw some of its lead whittled away at the start of the third quarter as Branson Holt had a pair of buckets to open the frame. Searfoss added two free throws and later dropped in a trey as the Rangers led 34-28 going into the final period.
“Like I said last night, that game might have been the game that gets us rolling to the post season,” Searfoss said. “Now looking at it, that’s two in a row and we got another big game coming up on Tuesday. Once again we played sluggish but we came out in the end with a win.”
Senior post Travis Overdorf scored six points, pulled down 11 boards and had a pair of blocks while keeping Hancock post Dakota Trent in check with just four points and six boards.
“With us just having 10 (players) we all to have to get after it,” Overdorf said. “Tonight the ball just came to me. Another night it might be Joe or J.C. It’s all about who wants it.”
The Indians pulled to within 37-33 at the start of the fourth quarter after a three point play by Jacob Davidson who led HC with 13 points. Unaka answered with a three point play by Lewis on a slashing drive to the hoop.
After a deuce by Davidson, Overdorf scored down low after taking down an offensive rebound, but HC got back to back two pointers to cut the Unaka lead to 42-40 with 2:33 remaining.
The Rangers wanted to regroup with a time out but saw the ball turn over and David Way knotted the score. A bucket from Searfoss and a pair of free throws gave Unaka a 46-43 lead with 16.8 ticks left and the Rangers held on for the victory.
Hancock Co. 12 5 11 14 – 43
Unaka 5 19 10 13 – 47
Hancock Co (43)
Blevins 2, Way 5, Holt 12, Gibson 3, Davidson 13, Baker 4, Trent 4.
Lewis 12, Searfoss 24, Cocklin 2, Guinn 3, Overdorf 6.
3-point goals: HC 1 (Gibson), U 6 (Searfoss 4, Lewis 1, Guinn 1).
Lady Rangers run dominate Hancock County
The Lady Rangers connected on eight long range shots and came away with a runaway 60-26 victory over Hancock County.
Junior point guard Hannah Tipton led the Lady Rangers (7-13) with 12 points while senior wing Cheyenne Drew added 10.
The Rangers jumped out to a 21-4 first quarter lead and never looked back as head coach Kenneth Chambers was able to get a lot of players into his rotation.
“We got a lot of players some time on the floor. We played a little lazy tonight, but I think some of that was coming off a tough game last night. This was our third game this week and I thought we talked better on defense,” Chambers said. “Tonight it was a game where we could play to get better and not worry about the score. I thought everyone played their role.
“We didn’t shoot the ball real well tonight overall, but I thought we played good defense and talked when we were out there.”
Unaka built it’s lead to 31-12 at halftime with Tipton scoring eight in the first half.
Junior guard Ashley Doss ran the point for most of the second half and she scored five points and connected on an arc shot as well. In all, 12 players made contributions to the Rangers effort.
Lakin Sexton scored a game high 17 points for the Lady Indians. Sierra Wright had six points for Unaka as did Sydney Markland who dropped in a pair of three’s.
Hancock Co. 4 8 9 5 – 26
Unaka 21 10 13 16 – 60
Hancock Co. (26)
McCoy 2, Dykes 1, Hopkins 2, Sexton 17, Greene 2, Roberts 2.
S.Tipton 2, H.Tipton 12, Doss 9, Burke 4, Drew 10, Burrow 5, Weaver 5, Wright 6, Covarrubias 1, Markland 6.
3-point goals: HC 0, U 8 (H.Tipton 2, Drew 2, Markland 2, Burrow 1, Doss 1)