Cheyenne Drew led the charge with 11 points for Unaka in their 42-39 upset over Hampton inside Ronnie Snavely Gym Tuesday night.
The win, the first over the Lady Bulldogs since the 2011-2012 season, moves the Lady Rangers to 8-13 on the year with a 2-3 record inside the Watauga Valley Conference while Hampton dropped to 10-10, 3-3.
“We’ve been on the verge,” Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers said. “In quite a few games, we’ve played a lot of teams close but could never get over the hump. Hampton, I think, is one of, if not the best team in our conference. We knew it would be an entire team effort. You can hear them in the locker room, they are as excited as can be.”
Hampton head coach Bud Hazelwood and Co. took control early in the contest when sophomore Lady Bulldog Alexus Grubbs rattled off seven straight points to give her team the 7-4 lead at the end of the first period. From the 3:30 mark of the second quarter, the Lady Rangers caught fire with four 3’s in the period and a 12-point run to cut the deficit within a point, 19-18, at intermission.
Drew drilled a pair 3’s in the second and gave the team a boost in momentum to open the half. Hannah Tipton scored four points in a three-minute stand to give her a team a 22-21 lead but Hampton used a pair of 3’s from Alexis Bowers and points inside from Tatum Street to extend the score back to eight points, 33-25, en route to the final frame.
“We came together tonight,” Tipton (nine points, five rebounds, four assists) said. “We played as a team. We filled all our roles tonight and that’s what we need to do.”
Back-to-back 3’s for Unaka from Burrow (10 points) and Drew, along with a Katlyn Weaver bucket set the stage for Tipton, who drilled a trey to give her team the second lead of the contest
Lady Bulldog Megan Garland was able to give HHS another one-point late on their next possession but buckets from Renya Austin and Weaver added to the Unaka margin of victory.
HHS went cold at the charity stripe in the minutes, going 0-4 but a Grubbs bucket cut the the Rangers lead to one, 40-39, but a pair of free throws from Burrow gave her team the triumph.
“We were really excited coming off the floor,” Burrow said. “We picked each other up the entire night. We knew we had to want it more than they did tonight and if we play like that, we can play with anybody.”
Grubbs finished with a stalwart effort the Hampton with a game-high 14 points, joined in double figures by Bowers’ 10.
Sarah Tipton (three points) joined her sister Hannah in the scoring column. Weaver finished with five points and Austin rounded out the winners with four points.
HHS was rounded out in scoring by Shyanne Tuelle’s five points. Kim Swearingen and Tatum Street added four and Garland had two.
Thursday, Jan. 22 – Unaka at Happy Valley
Friday, Jan. 23 – University High at Hampton