Lady Rangers pull off thriller

Published 10:58 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The last time the Lady Rangers of Unaka and the Cosby Lady Eagles squared off on December 1, the Lady Rangers stood on the floor staring at an embarrassing 50-29 defeat at the hands of the Lady Eagles.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, and how things quickly changed as a completely focused group of Stoney Creek gals came out with a focus and determination to make amends for the 21-point defeat and did just that with a 49-41 Region 1-A win.

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The victory didn’t come with several gut-check moments and a fighting spirit as Unaka found themselves trailing 22-19 at the half.

Chloe Hance was doing most of the damage in the low-scoring first half as she recorded nine of the Lady Eagles 22 in the half. Addy Woods and Ariel Ottinger added four points each in helping to build the advantage.

After a six-point first quarter, the Lady Rangers final began to find their range led by Alisha Harrell’s nine points in the first 16 minutes of play.

Unaka also received five points from Emma Taylor to stay within range of the Lady Eagles.

The turning point of the game came in the third quarter when the Lady Rangers turned the deficit into a 33-26 lead at the end of the period.

Katlyn Dugger led the Ranger comeback by knocking down five points in the quarter. Emma Taylor added a trey with Hannah Yontz, Olivia Shepherd, and Keyona Hague added a deuce apiece.

The Lady Eagles cut the lead to two points at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter before Unaka ballooned the lead back to seven just one minute later. Cosby once again made a hard charge around the four-minute mark before the Lady Rangers squelched the charge and held on for the big win.

Haley Taylor and Harrell led the Lady Rangers (3-14, 1-1) with a team-high 10 points apiece. Emma Taylor, Yontz, and Dugger chipped in with five points each.

Shepherd (4), Hague (4), and Lauren Lund (3) closed out the Lady Ranger scoring.

Hance had a game-high 12 points to pace Cosby.

Hague led the Lady Rangers on the boards with nine rebounds while Yontz swept the glass for five. Lund had three steals in the contest.