Lady Rangers topple UH; Rangers take down ‘Landers

Published 1:57 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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KINGSPORT – It was a bad night for teams in blue and gold on Monday evening at Evelyn Rafalowski Athletic Center as Cloudland (1-8 WVC) fell to Unaka 57-48 in boys District 1A play-in game and University High was beaten by the Lady Rangers 55-33 in the same game on the girls side.
The common denominator in each contest was a big first-period lead as the Rangers opened with a 13-4 first-period advantage and the Lady Rangers scored a 19-2 first-period lead over the Lady Bucs.
The Rangers (2-6 WVC) took a 25-17 halftime lead but the Highlanders had a lot of fight left in them despite the deficit and Cloudland twice got the game within eight points but Unaka had a finishing kick.
“We knew we would get Cloudland’s best shot,” Rangers head coach Aaron Dugger said. “We knew coach (Spencer) Nave would them ready. Our kids responded and we teetered a little in the first half and let them back in and again in the second half. This time of the year, you don’t have to win by 30; you just have to win by one.”
The Rangers led 37-28 at the end of the third quarter but Cloudland’s Caden Clarke hit a three’ that cut the Unaka lead to 46-38 but the Rangers got a bucket from junior post Marcus Shomaker on back-to-back possession to push the lead to 50-39.
Joe-Z Blamo scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and was the answer to every Cloudland rally attempt.
“Joe-Z is a kid that has played for me for four years, and I have a lot of confidence in him,” Dugger said. “He is a good player that has sparked our offense all year and I am not surprised with what he can do game in and game out.”
Senior forward Landon Ramsey had a game-high 20 points, with Shomaker adding nine for Unaka. For Cloudland, Nick Caraway had a team-high 13 points, with Clarke adding 10. Unaka will face Hampton on Friday at this venue.
Unaka 55
University 33
The Lady Rangers (3-5 WVC) took a 19-2 first-period lead and extended to a 31-8 halftime bulge as the Lady Bucs (0-8 WVC) could not throw it in the ocean hitting just 3-for-20 from the floor (15 percent) and were equally inept from the free throw line at 2-for-9 (22.2 percent).
The Lady Bucs responded in the second half outscoring Unaka 25-24 but had dug two deep a hole to climb out of. Emma Chandley scored a team-high 13 points for UH with Vania Ortiz adding seven.
Unaka took a 49-19 lead into the fourth quarter but UH won the period 14-7 but the lead for Unaka was too large. Senior guard Lyndie Ramsey scored a game-high 22 points with Jill Faust chipping in with eight and freshmen Katlyn Dugger and Keyona Hague each scoring six.
“We tried to play as many as we could because we got a big game coming up tomorrow against Hampton,” Lady Rangers head coach Kenneth Chambers said. “The girls stepped up and played well the whole game.”
In this game Ramsey knocked down another record in a record-setting senior season as she tallied 2,773 points of her career to become the top scorer in 5-on-5 basketball in Northeast Tennessee.
“It’s a great accomplishment for me,” Ramsey said. “My dad asked me if I had done everything I could do but I said no, I want the scoring record in boys and girls 5-on-5 basketball and he said he forgot about that one. I think it is a tribute to my work ethic. I run an hour and a half of practice and coach says it’s time to go home, but I work for another half hour at least on layup drills.”
Unaka 55-33
University High (33)
Joyner 5, V. Ortiz 7, Chandley 13, Stancil 2, Thompson 2, L. Ortiz 2, Davis 2.
Unaka (55)
Lund 2, Ramsey 22, E. Taylor 5, Yontz 3, Harrell 3, Faust 8, Dugger 6, Hague 6.
University 2 6 11 14 – 33
Unaka 19 12 17 7 – 55
3-point goals: UH 0, U 3 (E. Taylor 1, Yontz 1, Faust 1)
Unaka 57-48
Cloudland (48)
Sexton 9, Morgan 7, Clarke 10, A. Caraway 3, McKinney 6, N. Caraway 13.
Unaka (57)
Wilson 6, Douglas 3, Blamo 19, Ramsey 20, Shomaker 9.
Cloudland 4 13 12 19 – 47
Unaka 13 12 12 20 – 57
3-point goals: C 5 (Clarke 2, N. Caraway 1, Morgan 1, A. Caraway 1), U 4 (Wilson 2, Blamo 1,
Ramsey 1)

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