Unaka girls’ basketball held on when it mattered most.
The Lady Rangers picked up a 44-41 victory over Cloudland on Thursday in Roan Mountain. In boys’ action, the ‘Landers held on a 63-57 win over Unaka.
In the girls’ game, Unaka got off to a fast start.
The Lady Rangers jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but CHS cut into the lead before the end of the first. Unaka maintained a 9-8 advantage going into the second.
The Lady ‘Landers used shots from Jasmine Birchfield to take a lead early in the second quarter, but Unaka saw Sydney Markland and Lexi Garland add three points apiece to push UHS to a 21-17 advantage.
The third quarter saw Cloudland cut the gap to one point before the Lady Rangers ran the lead out to double-digits. After taking a 35-27 lead into the final eight minutes, Unaka was forced to hold on.
Kenzie Birchfield knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to help Cloudland close that gap including to one point in the final minute. Sarah Tipton, however, iced the win at the free throw line for Unaka.
Erika Potter had 11 points to lead the Lady Rangers, while Mayah Parlier had 10 points.
K. Birchfield and J. Birchfield had nine points apiece, while Trinity Vines and Stacia Wilson had eight points apiece.
In the boys’ game, Cloudland set the tempo early by starting the game on a 12-0 run. The Rangers got the offense going late in the quarter, but the ‘Landers maintained an 18-9 advantage going into the second. In the second quarter, CHS increased the lead to 12 points.
Unaka, however, wasn’t going away quietly.
The Rangers outscored CHS 12-9 in the third quarter to trim into the lead. Unaka’s Ryan Johnson scored nine points to spark Unaka in the final quarter. However, Cloudland countered with nine points from Robert Leeper and was able to hold on for the win.
Josh Blair had 22 points to lead Cloudland, while Leeper tossed in 16 points. Isaac Hill had 16 points for Unaka, and Johnson added 15 points.
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