Hannah Tipton leads Lady Rangers past Johnson County, Rangers struggle against Longhorns

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unaka’s Hannah Tipton led the Lady Rangers with 20 points.

Like the puppy chasing the family car down the road, the Unaka Rangers were in catch-up mode early on Tuesday night at Snavely gym in their non conference clash with Johnson County. The Rangers briefly caught and passed the Longhorns, but the hot shooting of sophomore guard Bud Icenhour was too much for Unaka on this night as Johnson County took a 74-59 decision.

“They got hot,” Rangers head coach Aaron Dugger said. “(Coach Atwood) has two of the best guards we’ll see. They can flat fill it up and we knew that coming in. They just got lost and made some tough ones, and they got some open ones and knocked them down.”

Icenhour dropped in three first quarter trey’s, the Longhorns (3-9 overall) took a 16-12 advantage in the first period. He finished the contest with seven three-ball’s among his game high 31 points.

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The Rangers (5-6 overall) took their first lead of the game at the 4:42 mark of the second period on a three-point play from senior point guard Joe Searfoss that gave Unaka a 21-18 lead. On next Ranger possession, Searfoss added two more free throws to give Unaka a 23-18 advantage.

Unaka led 33-26 at the break, but a 12-2 Johnson County run to open the third quarter put Unaka into chase mode once again as the Longhorns led 38-35. Icenhour got a steal and pulled up for a long three that was matched by Kyler Lewis for Unaka to knot the score at 38-38 at the 5:48 mark of the quarter.

“We got on our heels a little bit but we kept fighting and clawing,” Dugger said. “If these kids will learn that, that is the kind of effort we need night in and night out, and I said effort. We still have some things to clean up. The turnovers are ultimately what got us.”

From there JC went on a 19-7 run to close the third period with a 57-45 lead, led by Icenhour’s 12 points in the period. A trey by Lewis at the 4:27 mark closed the gap to 64-51 for Unaka, but a dribble drive bucket by Blake Atwood answered for the ‘Horns.

“We finally started defending and rebounding the ball better,” Longhorns head coach Austin Atwood said. “This is a tough place to play and I kept telling them that the whole game. Cody Bailie had a good second half. He had a good third quarter. Bud and Jose both are good shooters, but we need to get more production out of our post players. Those two guards are good and once our post players catch up to them then we have a chance to be okay.”

For the game JC shot 11-of-21 from the distance while the Rangers hit just 4-of-12 from beyond the arc. Searfoss led the Rangers with 19 points followed by 18 from Chambers and 15 from Lewis.

Unaka 84, Johnson County 50 (Girls)

Unaka (6-4) ran away and hid from Johnson County (2-10) in the early going of the Lady Rangers non conference match against the Lady Longhorns. Unaka took a 17-3 first quarter lead on the strength of five turnovers from Johnson County and solid offensive rebounding from the Rangers.

“We came out and played hard,” commented Lady Rangers head coach Kenneth Chambers. “We fouled too much in the first half and put them at the free throw line, but we played tough in the second half without fouling.”

Katlyn Weaver scored nine points in the run, including dropping in a three-ball and senior post Sierra Wright had a pair of deuces before Michala Cretsinger dropped in a pair of free throws for JCHS.

Trey’s from senior guard Hannah Tipton and Katlyn Burrow helped Unaka to a 27-10 advantage with 6:06 remaining until the half, but Kelsi Terrill answered with a driving bucket for the ‘Horns. The Rangers took a 43-27 lead into the break with Tipton scoring 13 first half points with Weaver adding nine and Katlyn Burrow seven.

Unaka opened the third period with a nine point run that gave the Rangers a 55-27 lead before a bucket from Kelsey Duperry ended the run. The Rangers went into the fourth period holding a 64-42 advantage with Tipton having already totaled 20 points.

After three-balls from sophomore guard Sarah Tipton and freshman Savannah Tipton gave the Rangers a 71-42 lead with 6:09 remaining, only the final score was left to be determined. For Johnson County, Cretsinger led all scorers with 21 points followed by Tipton with 20 for the Rangers.

“Cretsinger scored some three’s on in bounds plays and offensive boards,” Chambers said. “We have to recognize the shooter on those plays. Johnson County didn’t quit they played hard. I think it has helped us playing bigger schools since we play in such a tough conference.”



Unaka 84-50

Johnson Co. (50)

B. Brooks 2, C. Brooks 7, Terrill 8, Nichols 2, Duperry 4, Cole 6, Cretsinger 21.

Unaka (84)

Sa. Tipton 7, H. Tipton 20, Garland 2, Sav. Tipton 9, Markland 1, Burrow 12, Weaver 11, Wright 9, Parlier 6, Potter 2, Pierce 5.


Johnson Co. 7 20 15 8 – 50

Unaka 19 24 21 20 – 84

3-point goal: JC 4-12 (B. Brooks 0-3, Terrill 0-1, Duperry 0-1, Cretsinger 4-7 ), U (Sa. Tipton 2- 2, H. Tipton 1-6, Garland 0-1, Sav. Tipton 1-2, Markland 0-2, Burrow 2-6, Weaver 1-4, Pierce 1-1)



Johnson Co. 74-59

Johnson Co. (74)

Icenhour 31, Guzman 15, Atwood 7, Vannoy 9, Bailie 4, Lewis 5, Edes.

Unaka (59)

Lewis 15, Searfoss 19, Wright 1, Carrier 6, Chambers 18.


Johnson Co. 16 10 31 17 – 74

Unaka 12 21 12 14 – 59

3-point goals: JC 11-21 (Icenhour 7-10, Guzman 2-7, Lewis 1-3, Atwood 1-1), U 4-12 (Lewis 2- 4, Searfoss 3-7, Hill 0-1)