It may have been a consolation game, but it didn’t stop Cloudland and Unaka from putting on a title-esque battle.
The No. 2 Lady ‘Landers edged No. 4 Lady Rangers 48-46 in a thriller in the District 1-A Consolation game at West Ridge on Monday night.
With the win, Cloudland will travel to the loser of the District 1-2A Championship game between Cosby and Washburn on Friday night to open the Region 1-A tournament, while Unaka will travel to the winner.
On Monday night, points were hard to come by in the first half.
After the Lady Rangers scored seven straight to take a 7-1 lead in the opening minutes, Ella Benfield scored three points to pull CHS back with a shot. Unaka’s Lyndie Ramsey countered points from Makenzie Street and Benfield to give Unaka an 11-9 lead after a quarter of play.
Haley Taylor and Katelyn Dugger each hit shots to open the second for the Maroon and Black, but Benfield and Kendall Birchfield hit key shots to stop the run. The teams traded buckets for the rest of the quarter as Unaka held a slim 24-23 halftime advantage.
After Ramsey opened the third quarter with a bucket, Benfield sparked a Lady ‘Lander 6-0 run with back-to-back shots which proved to be an 8-3 run. The teams traded quick runs to end the quarter as Cloudland held a 35-34 lead with a quarter to play.
In the final stanza, neither team was giving an inch.
Benfield and Ramsey traded shots and the lead for their respective squads.
Ryan Turbyfill extended the lead with four straight points to extend the CHS lead, but Taylor drained a 3-pointer from near the top of the kay to stop the run. Benfield’s bucket midway through the quarter gave the Blue and Gold a 45-41 advantage.
Four straight points from Ramsey tied the game at 45-45 with 1:22 to play, but Katie Baldwin and Turbyfill hit free throws.
Unaka was able to add a free throw in the final seconds and a last-second shot missed the mark as Cloudland held on for the win.
Benfield led all scorers with 25 points. Turbyfill finished with 10 points.
Ramsey finished with 33 points for Unaka, while Taylor had nine points.
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