State’s third-ranked Lady Highlanders run record to 18-0

Published 5:40 pm Monday, January 29, 2024


ROAN MOUNTAIN – For one and a half quarters of basketball, the visiting Unaka Lady Rangers were like a small briar under the flesh to the Cloudland Lady Highlanders as they made just enough plays to stay close to the state’s third-ranked Class 1-A Lady ‘Landers.

However, a second period trey from Eowyn McCoury opened the floodgates wide open as Cloudland built a 28-9 halftime lead and then cruised in the second half to a 52-23 win for their 18th victory of the season against no losses.

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The game was stuck on a 15-9 score for the longest time in the second quarter until the trey set the Lady Highlanders on a 10-0 run from that point to build the 19-point lead at the break.

Izabella Christman used her brawn in the middle to record nine points in the first 16 minutes to lead her Cloudland team. Makinna Shell chipped in with seven points to help push the home team to a comfortable cushion.

Alisha Harrell had four of the Lady Rangers nine points in the first half. Lauren Lund added a three-ball while Keyona Hague added a deuce in the half.

Cloudland continued their onslaught in the third period adding 16 more points to their ledger while the Lady Rangers matched their first-half output with nine coming out of the locker room.

Christman continued to be the chairman of the boards as she added seven more points to her tally on her way to a game-high 16 points.

Katlyn Dugger scored all five of her points in the period for Unaka.

The final period was pretty much mop-up duty for Coach Matt Birchfield’s squad as Ryan Turbyfill scored six of her 11 points on a pair of treys in the final quarter.

Emma Taylor had a trey for the Lady Rangers who scored five in the final eight minutes of play.

Regan Blair and Shell finished with seven points apiece for Cloudland with McCoury finishing with five points.

MaKenzie Street, Saharra McKinney, and Abby Clawson each finished with a deuce each.

For Unaka, Emma Taylor and Dugger led the way with five points apiece. Haley Taylor and Harrell each dropped in four points each while Lund (3) and Hague (2) closed out the scoring for the Lady Rangers.

In the boys game, Unaka managed to fend off the Highlanders as a shot at the buzzer by Cloudland just missed its mark as the visitors were able to return to Stoney Creek with a 46-44 victory.