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Rangers lose heartbreaker in double overtime

BY CY PETERS
It’s become a habit at Unaka High School for the second time in as
many games it went into overtime.
As a matter of fact, it went into double overtime.
“I Hated that someone had to lose that one. I thought that Aaron had their
guys ready to go we just got a couple of breaks,” said Coach Austin Atwood
of Johnson County.
The game started just like last time, with both teams playing on
even terms.
Each team had five players score points in the first quarter with the
Longhorns coming out on top 17-15.
Jackson Earnhardt and Zack Parsons teamed up to score 12 points in the
second and pull the Longhorns out to a 38-32 lead at the break.
The second half belonged to Will Sexton.
He was simply unstoppable, taking the ball to the basket and hitting the
three’s when left open.
Sexton scored 25 points in the second half and 34 for the game, as well
as hitting a 35-footer to send the game into the first overtime.
The game see-sawed back and forth in the final quarter, with both teams
holding the lead several times.
Devin Ramsey pulled the Rangers within one at the end of the third 47-46.
Johnson County had just moved out to a 66-63 lead with time running out
when Sexton hit the bomb, sending the game into overtime.
Mountain City pulled out to a four-point lead, as the Rangers battled back
with Joe-z Blamo tying the score at 72.
The Longhorns ran the time down to 5.8 seconds and called time out. On the
throw-in, Unaka tied the ball up and took possession.
A final shot fell short, and the game went into a second overtime.
When playing this long, the fouls begin to add up. Players were leaving the
game almost every-time down the floor.
Five players fouled out as the Longhorns pulled away for the win, 82-75.
“Kids played with great effort, in tight games like this one, you have to be able
to close them out from the free-throw line, and we didn’t do that tonight, said
Unaka head coach Aaron Dugger.
Sexton led all scorers with 34 points, Earnhardt led Johnson County with 26.
In the girl’s action, the first half was as good as you get.
The Lady Rangers jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Lady Longhorns bounced
back and only trailed by two at the first stop 9-7.
Johnson County head coach Leon Tolley’s Lady Longhorns would outscore
Unaka in the second and would go the locker room with an 18-18 tie game.
Like Sexton in the boy’s game, the second half belonged to Lyndie
Ramsey.
Ramsey poured in 29 points, 17 in the second half.
Unaka began pulling away in the third outscoring Johnson County 14-4. Eleven shots
in the third hit the rim and rolled out for the Lady Longhorns.
Sadie Stout had an excellent game for Johnson County scoring 21 points while
hitting 7 of 9 from the free-throw line.
“I’m proud of our team’s effort. We just need some practice time and continuity
in the crazy year. Unaka played well and was the better team tonight,” said Coach Tolley.
Ramsey led all scorers with 29, Macy Ensor finished with 10.

Boys
Unaka 15 17 14 20 6 3 -75
Johnson County. 17 21 9 19 6 10 -82

Unaka: Sexton 34, Blamo 10, Slagle 10, Seigfried 6, D. Ramsey 9, L.
Ramsey 4, Shomaker 2.
Johnson County: Earnhardt 26, Bower 7, Greer 7, Cross 10, Parson 21,
Gentry 7, Simcox 4.

Girls:
Unaka 9 7 14 15 -47
Jo. Co 7 11 4 12 -34

Unaka: Ramsey 29, Guy 5, Whitehead 3, Ensor 10.
Jo. Co.: Miller 4, Gentry 2, Hutchins 5, Stout 21, Baird 2.