Unaka pushed University High in a battle on Saturday night.
The Rangers gave the top-seeded Bucs a battle before UH pulled away in the fourth quarter in a 61-42 victory in the District 1-A semifinals at Sullivan North High School. Unaka will play either Hampton or North Greene in the consolation game on Monday.
In the early going, points came at a premium.
Isaac Hill scored four early points as the teams swapped buckets and the lead in the early going. The senior Hill continued to set the tone for Unaka with eight points in the opening quarter to power the Rangers to a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
John Ramsey opened the second quarter with a trey and a Hill jumped gave Unaka a 15-9 lead two minutes into the frame. UH, however, reeled off a 13-2 run to jump back out in front. the teams traded shots and an Austin Drew jumper closed the Unaka deficit to 27-23 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Unaka answered a quick UH run with shots from Will Sexton and Drew to stay within two points midway through the quarter. It was shot-for-shot over the rest of the quarter before a late UH run gave the Bucs a 41-34 lead going to the fourth.
Unaka continued to battle was Ramsey and Sexton added buckets to keep the Rangers within striking distance in the early going. UH, however, held Unaka without a scoreless over the final five minutes to secure the win.
Sexton had 15 points to pace the Rangers, while Hill had 14 points. Ramsey tallied eight points.
UH was paced by Kaleb Meredith’s 21 points.
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