Unaka clips Eagles as basketball season arrives, 68-56

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It’s Basketball time on the Creek and the Unaka Rangers opened their 2019-20 season by playing the Eagles of Tri-City Christian Schools.
The Rangers wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard when back to back three’s by Ryan Johnson started a 10-point run by the Rangers with Will Sexton stealing the ball for a lay-up and an Eagle time out.
The Eagles came out and connected on two three’s and pulled the game within two, 14-12.
Johnson then went back to work hitting a three and the Rangers scored the last five points in the quarter leading 19-12 at the first stop.
Hustle was the name of the game in the second quarter with both teams firing shots up and the Eagles coming out on top in shooting scoring 18 points as Adam Pigeon tied the score at 30 with .20 seconds left and that’s how it would end knotted up 30-30 at the break.
The Eagles would outscore the Rangers 18-11 in the second quarter.
Unaka hit five three-pointers and Tri-Cities nailed three of them.  Unaka shot 42.8 percent while the Eagles shot 41 percent.  The Rangers forced eight turnovers while committing five and Daniel Ensor had three block shots.
Unaka came out of the locker room to reel off seven straight points for a 37-30 lead before the Eagles score the next seven.
The Rangers then pulled out to an eight-point lead 52-44 with 1:11 to go in the third and would add two more for a ten-point lead 54-44.  Johnson hit three treys and Sexton scored seven while Whitehead scored six to finish the third.
In the fourth, the Rangers extend their lead to 64-48 with 5:25 to play.  Then at the three-minute mark, Unaka started the stall up by eleven points, 67-56.
Turnovers plagued both teams in the final minutes, as no one seemed to be able to hold onto the ball, but Unaka’s big lead would hold and the Rangers went on to win 68-56.
The Rangers shot just over 55 percent from the floor hitting 27-of-49 shots.  Ryan Johnson would hit ten three’s and set a new school record for three-pointers in a game.
Will Sexton finished the game with 16 points and Devin Whitehead followed with 10.  For the Eagles, Adam Pigeon scored 13 while Gavin Etter finished with 11 points for the contest.
Unaka, 68-56
Unaka        19   11   23   14  – 68
Tri-Cities   12   18   14   12   -56
Unaka: Johnson 30, Sexton 16, Whitehead 10, Ensor 7, Drew 4, Ramsey 1.
Tri-Cities:  Layell 2, Young 9, Gewelke 9, Correll 7, Etter 11, Pritchard 2, Martin 3, Pigeon 13.

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