Unaka picked up a pair of county wins on Tuesday night.
The Rangers used a quick run to open overtime to take a 64-55 victory over Cloudland, while the Lady Rangers slowly pulled away to take a 51-34 win over the Lady ‘Landers.
In the boys’ game, it was a back-and-forth battle.
The teams traded shots in the early going with Caleb Sluder scoring eight points for Cloudland while Joe-z Blamo countered with six points for the Rangers.
Unaka maintained a 15-13 lead after a quarter of play.
Cloudland jumped into the lead in the opening seconds of the second quarter as Dylan McClellan converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
After Sluder pushed the Cloudland lead to four points, Unaka countered with a 7-0 run to take a 23 lead. The ‘Landers battled back – including scoring five of the last seven points in the quarter – but the Rangers held a 30-29 lead.
The second half was much the same.
Sluder and McClellan pushed Cloudland back in front to open the third quarter but Joesph Slagle and Blamo countered with back-to-back shots to put Unaka back in front.
The teams traded shots to end the quarter as Unaka held a slim four-point lead.
In a frantic fourth quarter, Sluder and Dylan Shell hit big shots to regain a ‘Lander lead, but Blamo repaid the favor.
With Unaka holding a 48-45 lead in the final seconds, Shell knocked down a 3-pointer to force overtime. with a 48-48 tie.
Devin Ramsey scored quickly after the opening tip of the extra period.
That sparked Unaka to a 9-0 run over the first two minutes of overtime.
Cloudland continued to battle but was unable to rally back.
Blamo finished with 36 points to lead the Rangers. Ramsey had 13 points, while Slagle had five points.
Cloudland was paced by Sluder’s 28 points while Caden Clarke and McClellan had nine points apiece. Shell had seven points.
In the girls’ game, Unaka jumped out early and then held off a Lady ‘Lander charge.
Macy Ensor and Lyndie Ramsey had back-to-back shots as part of a 13-1 Unaka run to open the first quarter.
Cloudland, however, battled back as Ella Benfield and Karah Field hit shots to close the gap, but Unaka maintained a 15-6 lead after a quarter of play.
Ryan Turbyfill opened the second quarter scoring with a Cloudland 3-pointer and a Saharra McKinney bucket cut the Unaka lead to seven points midway through the quarter.
Unaka, however, saw Kiki Forney and Ramsey end the half on a 7-0 run as the Lady Rangers held a 25-11 halftime lead.
Cloudland continued to battle in the second half, but Unaka was able to keep pace to take the win.
Ramsey had a game-high 29 points for Unaka. Ensor added 16 points for the Lady Rangers.
Benfield led Cloudland with nine points, while McKinney and Turbyfill had seven points each.
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