Second period carries Lady 'Horns past UHS

By Matt Hill

   MOUNTAIN CITY -- The Johnson County Lady Longhorns struggled early on against the Unaka Lady Rangers Monday night, but the second quarter saw the girls from the high country burn it up more than an overcooked piece of toast.
   The Lady Longhorns outscored Unaka 22-4 in the second stanza to lead them to a 46-32 victory over the short-handed Lady Rangers at Ray Shoun Gym.
   "We played an exceptional second quarter," Johnson County head coach Eric Crabtree said. "If we would play like that all the time, and be controlled and patient and be aggressive on defense, we can do that against anybody.
   The impressive second quarter gave Johnson County a 33-16 advantage going into the locker room.
   A player that was instrumental in the Lady Longhorns making their run was Andrea McQueen. She had 18 points on the night, but 13 came in the first 16 minutes of action.
   "She's a great player," Crabtree said. "I ask her to carry a lot of the load. She gets a lot of attention. Everybody knows where she's at at all times. She works hard to do things she needs to do to be successful.
   "She played a good defensive game tonight. She got a lot of taps, and a lot of deflections. I thought she played a great game. Everybody else had a real good game, too, but I thought she played a real good game.
   Unaka couldn't muster a real challenge in the second half, getting no closer than 10 points.
   Renee Ensor topped Unaka with nine points.
   Unaka was without a lot of its players, as several were suspended from the team following an alcohol-related incident that happened when the squad was playing in Chattanooga last weekend.
   A lot of the players on the floor were freshmen, so Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers thought they did well considering the circumstances.
   "They played hard," Chambers said. "I feel like Mountain City shot the ball better than us, but I feel like we outplayed them. We got more loose balls than them, we just have to learn. Right now we're freshman. We're going to get better. But when you're playing girls that haven't played as much this year against varsity level talent, it's going to take a little while.
   It's been a rough week for the Unaka program, but Chambers is still proud of his team.
   "I'm proud of all my kids," Chambers said. "I'm proud of the kids that got in trouble, too. They made a mistake, and they'll have to live with it now. They know what they did. Some of them will be back, and some of them will go on and do better things in life. Right now we're working with what we've got, and we'll do fine."
   * Most of the suspended Lady Rangers should be back for Friday's game at North Greene.