North Greene, Hampton advance to finals of District 1- 1A tournament

Published 11:56 pm Sunday, February 20, 2022

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BY AUSTIN ALEXANDER
STAR CORRESPONDENT
HAPPY VALLEY –┬áSaturday night at Happy Valley was the location of the District 1 1-A Boys Basketball semifinals. With two Carter County schools in play, North Greene took on Unaka while Hampton took on University High.
With both of the top seeds massive favorites going into the match ups, the lower seeds hoped to spring an upset. Despite great efforts from both lower seeds, North Greene and Hampton both took down their foes to advance to the finals.
Game number one of the night featured the Rangers of Unaka trying to pull off an upset bid against the top-seeded Huskies of North Greene.
The first quarter featured North Greene jumping out to an early led behind some three pointers, but the Rangers hung in. A Ryan Sexton three paired with made baskets from Joe-Z Blamo and Braydon Powell to cut the deficit to 16-8 heading to the second frame.
The Huskies would maintain the same level of separation right up to the halftime horn. Landon Ramsey scored five of his eventual 16 in the quarter as he battled in the post with North Greene big man Jasper Brand.
Back-to-back threes from Joseph Slagle also kept the Rangers in striking distance as they went into the half down 36-27.
Both teams struggled offensively in the third, but Unaka bore the brunt of it. Five points from Landon Ramsey was nearly the full extent of the scoring for the quarter as the Huskies led 48-34 heading to quarter four.
Quarter four belonged to the Huskies as they flexed their top-seeded muscles and the Rangers simply ran out of gas. A Devin Ramsey three pointer was all but a drop in the bucket as North Greene would punch their ticket to the final, 71-50.
Game two pitted the Hampton Bulldogs against the third-seeded University High Bucs. The Bulldogs were looking to prove they were just as good as North Greene early, but the Bucs had other plans.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the whole first half with the Bulldogs keeping a slight advantage. Cadon Buckles spearheaded the Bulldogs offense in the first half with 12 points, most of which came in the second. Dalton Holtsclaw looked like he belonged in Golden State cashing in on a trio of treys during the half.
The Bucs proved they were willing to make a high-scoring game themselves. Logan Whitehead, Conor Burleson and Morgan Lyons had eight, seven and six respectively as the two teams continued to put on a show. Heading into the half, the Bulldogs led just 44-41.
The third quarter was when the Bulldogs finally found some more breathing room. Hayden Campbell poured in three points while Michael Harrison added a three himself. After the third, the Bulldogs led 58-50.
In the fourth, University School slowly lost the pace as Buckles poured in 11 points. Morgan Lyons scored seven points in the quarter with Logan Whitehead adding a basket himself as the Bulldogs fended off the upset-minded Bucs by a final of 82-70.

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