Unaka boys cage the Cougars, Lady Rangers fall

Published 1:38 am Thursday, November 21, 2019

There were enough people dressed in orange at Snavely Gym that one would have thought they were at a U.T. game.
The Lady Rangers opened up their upcoming season against the Sullivan Central Cougars in front of a packed house and Central came to the creek to play basketball.
The Lady Cougars jumped out to an 8-2 lead and would extend it to 14-5 with Macy McClellan scoring six. Unaka would make seven turnovers and shoot 13 three-pointers only connecting on one in the first quarter.
Central led 16-5 at the end of the first period.
Central really poured on the heat in the second period. Avery Leming nailed a three to give Central a 20-point lead and they would finish the quarter up 22, 36-14.
Lyndie Ramsey scored six of Unaka’s nine points, three of them from the line. The Rangers were held to only two baskets in thirteen attempts.
In the half Central hit 14 of 30 shots, many coming on second chances. The Rangers added six more turnovers in the second.
There was no letting up as the Cougars pulled out to a 27-point lead midway through the third with seven players scoring.
Once again the Lady Rangers would only hit two baskets from the floor while Central put up 16 points to more than double the score leading 52-24.
Central’s JV girls played the fourth quarter and would go on to win 66-35.
Ramsey scored 17 for Unaka with Macy Ensor grabbing seven rebounds.  McClellan led Central with 12 while Leming followed with 10.  The Lady Rangers had 19 turnovers and hit only 9 of 41 shots from the floor.
In boy’s action, Unaka jumped out to a 12-8 lead and it helped with Central missing three easy lay-up shots.
Will Sexton got Unaka on the board from way outside as Ryan Johnson added another three in the first.
Daniel Ensor took a charge to nil another Central score. Two plays later Ensor took his second charge in the quarter.
In the second quarter, Joltin Harrison hit a three-pointer to put Central up but was hit with a technical foul. The Rangers could not capitalize and Ty Barb would extend Central’s lead by three with his ninth point in the quarter.
As the game began to get a little rough, the officials showed they had control of the game whistling fouls and settling down the players.
Joseph Slagle would tie the score at 26 with a deep shot from the corner and Johnson gave Unaka a one-point lead 27-26 on a free throw.
The Rangers shot 15 from the charity stripe to Central’s three in the second quarter.  They only hit seven while the Cougars were 2-of-3.
The Rangers came out of the dressing room on fire hitting three straight three’s and jumping out to a 36-30 lead.
Cougars coach Derek McGhee would call a time-out to settle down his team and it worked as they hit back-to-back three’s to tie the game with 3:34 to play in the third.
Harrison put Central on top with another three and then Ensor would take his third charge for the Rangers.
Dawson Arnold put Central back up 41-38. Arnold is the grandson of ETSU’s all-time great Skeeter Swift.
After a controversial play where a Central boy hung on the rim was awarded the goal and a free throw in which Coach Dugger wasn’t too happy about,  Unaka’s Sexton nailed a three and Devin Ramsey stole the ball and was fouled hitting the shot to put the Rangers back on top 44-43.
Ryan Johnson then hit a shot at the buzzer-his third three of the quarter and the Rangers led 47-43 to end the third.
It came down to the final two minutes and the Cougars just fell apart as player after player after player fouled out of the game.
It may have been the longest fourth quarter in history at Unaka between the two teams as they shot 28 free throws with the Rangers coming out on top 65-58.
Ramsey startled the Cougars with his speed and Ensor controlled the boards on both ends for the Rangers.
Sexton shot 70 percent from the line in the fourth while  Ramsey was 3-of-4.  Dylan Whitehead and Joe Slagle had a solid performance.  Sexton led the Rangers with 24 and Johnson finished with 19.
Central was led by Ty Barb with 11 points.
In the girls JV game the Jr. Rangers came up short losing 49-36.
Central’s Kayleigh Harrison hit six three-pointers for the win. Lyndie Ramsey led Unaka with 13 and was five for five from the foul line.  Harrison led Central with 20-points.
In the boys JV tilt, it looked like Central would run away with the game pulling out to a 15-5 lead early in the game.
The Rangers bounced back to pull within one at the half 19-18.
In the third quarter, the Rangers made their move. Back-to-back steals by Sexton to go with back to back three’s.
Jonathan Campbell powered the Rangers to a 38-30 lead as the third would end. It almost turned into a WWE show in the final quarter as neither team could hit a free throw.
Central had the ball down four underneath their own goal but could not capitalize.  Unaka went on to win 53-47.  Campbell led Unaka with 23. Joe-z Blamo scored 10.  Ethan Lane led Central with 22.
Unaka: Johnson 19, Sexton 24, Whitehead 6, Ensor, 2, Slagle 8, Ramsey 6
Central: Barb 11, Harrison 9, Crabtree 8, Sams 8, Robinette 7, Fields 9, Beverly 4, Arnold 2
Unaka   12   15   20  18  -65
Central   8   18   17   15  – 58
Unaka: Ramsey 17, Tara Whitehead 3, Jada Whitehead 7, Ensor 2, Mailey 2, Depew 4
Central: West 11. Leming 8. McClellan12, Crawford 0, Niebrugge 4, Pendleton 3, Hurd 6, Lambert 6, Morley 3, Horne 2
Unaka      5     9    10   11  — 35
Central   16   20   16   14  — 66

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