State champs welcomed home

Fans excited after big win

By Julie Fann
star staff
jfann@starhq.com

  
Carter Countians welcomed home the state's number one boys' high school basketball team Sunday afternoon with a mile-long convoy of over 55 vehicles. Afterward, the crowd of approximately 300 gathered in the Unaka High School gym to greet the Rangers and congratulate them.
   Organized by Constable Landon Pritchard and Carter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Loretta Cloyd, among others, families and friends of the team gathered where Interstate 81 joins Interstate 26 and also at the county line to drive in procession to the high school. A crowd also assembled in the Ingle's parking lot.
   The Carter County Sheriff's Department and all county volunteer fire departments participated in the welcoming.
   The Unaka High School boys' basketball team won their first-ever Division 1, Class A, state tournament in Murfreesboro on Saturday in a grueling final contest against Grace Academy from Chattanooga.
   The final score of 63-47 launched Unaka to the top of the list of 110 Division 1, Class A, teams and placed three of the team's players on the All-Tournament Team.
   Tyler McCann, junior; Rusty Chambers, senior, and Cody Collins, senior made the All-Tournament Team.
   The team brought home the gold basketball trophy which has been a long-time symbol for state basketball champions.