The Lady Rangers got hot when it counted.
Unaka used an 8-0 run to pull away and take a 64-61 victory over Happy Valley on Monday night on Warrior Hill, while the Happy Valley boys’ stormed to a 72-55 win over the Rangers with a strong fourth quarter.
In the varsity opener, the teams kept pace with each other as the first quarter ended knotted at 10-10. Kalee Johnson and the Warriors got a little breathing room with a 31-26 lead at the half.
After Happy Valley held a slim 48-45 lead heading to the fourth quarter, the Lady Rangers battled back to tie the game at 50-50. Katlyn Burrow and Hannah Tipton powered an 8-0 run that pushed Unaka in the lead for good.
Happy Valley’s Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, while Unaka’s Katlyn Burrow scored 20 points. Tipton finished with 17 points for the Lady Rangers.
Freshman Bayley McGee scored 11 points for Happy Valley.
In the boys’ game, the fourth quarter proved to be the difference. Neither team could get separation in the first quarter as Happy Valley held a 12-11 lead and maintained a 31-28 advantage at the half.
After the Rangers continued to be in striking distance after the third, the Warriors scored 27 points while holding Unaka to just 14 points.
Nathan Kyte had 16 points to lead Happy Valley, while Nathan Kyte added 15 points. Tyler Torbett and Chris Young had 11 points apiece.
Unaka was paced by Joe Searfoss who led all scorers with 20 points, while Colton Chambers added 16 points.