Unaka Lady Rangers advance, boys’ season ends

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

     The Unaka Lady Rangers punched their ticket to the Regional
tournament next week with an opening district win over the University High
Lady Jr. Bucs.
     Despite Mari Johnson’s 20-point performance, 18 rebounds and
six blocked shots for the Lady Bucs, Unaka’s third quarter was simply amazing.

     The Lady Buc’s played a great first half while Unaka struggled until
about the final three minutes of the first half when Unaka Coach Kenneth Chambers put
on a full-court press that left Johnson doing most of the work.
Every play she was double-teamed and some times triple-teamed.  The Lady
Rangers held a 21-17 halftime lead.
     During the half Coach Chambers and his staff spoke the entire break on
forcing U-H to make turnovers and keeping the pressure on, taking good shots and working hard.
     The advice paid off as Unaka scored 26 points in the third.
     Freshmen Lyndie Ramsey and Mackenzie Depew worked the inside basket while four
other Rangers nailed three’s from the outside.
     The attack was too much for University and the Lady Rangers went on to earn a
Regional birth with a 60-45 win.

     Ramsey led Unaka with 18 points, Jada Whitehead followed with eight
and Depew scored seven.
     With Johnson 20 points, Dalayney Trosin scored nine.

     Unaka boys were just too oversized to match up with the goal play of
the U-H Bucs.
     Play after play, Coach Rice’s game plan worked taking the ball
to the hoop for the easy two points.
     At times U-H would try to shoot outside or run with the Rangers
and every time they let Unaka back in the game.
     After a time-out, the Bucs were back on the plan.  A speedy
first quarter would end with the Jr. Bucs up by four, 17-13.
     In the second they would double the score on Unaka going up 36-18
with just over two minutes to play.
     The Bucs would score 26 in the second to the Rangers 13 for a 43-26
halftime score.

     Marshall Fleenor just could not be contained in the second half,
breaking the Rangers press for easy baskets, leading U-H with 21
     Teammate Kaleb Meredith tossed in 20 points to assist in the
     Unaka’s leading scorers Senior Ryan Johnson and Will Sexton were
heavily guarded with Johnson held to two baskets and Sexton to five.
     Sexton was 7-of-7 from the line with 17-points, Johnson finished with six. 
Sexton had scored 42 against U-H in their first meeting.

     The future looks good for Unaka as underclassman Joe Slagle nailed six
three’s, five in the third for a season-high 23 points to lead the
     Slagle’s third-quarter run saw a Jr. Buc 18-point lead brought
down to six.
     Unaka had the ball with a chance to cut it to three but
back-to-back turnovers and two three-point plays put the Bucs back up
by 12.
     Freshman Jonathan Campbell came off the bench, nailed a three,
and on the next play drove to the basket for a bucket scoring five.

     University would advance to the Regional with a 78-63 win.

Unaka, 60-45
Unaka           7    14    26   13  -60
University:    7    10    10   18  -45

U-H, 78-63
Unaka          13   13    24   13 – 63
University:   17   26   13    22 – 78

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