Lady Rangers stop Temple

By Travis Brown

STAR Staff

   The Unaka Rangers hosted Tennessee Temple for a pair of varsity matchups Friday night. The Lady Rangers took home a 58-44 victory, while the boys did not fare as well, dropping a 74-48 decision.
   The Lady Crusaders trailed for the entire game as the Lady Rangers put together a solid performance on both ends of the floor. The contest was close for the first minutes of the first period, as Temple called time-out trailing 8-6 with 3:37 remaining in the first. The Lady Rangers would respond with a 9-1 run to finish the first quarter to lead 17-9 after one stanza of play.
   The second period saw both teams level out somewhat as the Rangers spread the ball to six different scorers. Birthday girl Coty Townsend led the Rangers in the second period, posting five of the Lady Rangers' 15 points in the period.
   The second half would see both teams wind down a bit. The Rangers took caution to take better care of the basketball, and consequently dropped off in scoring.
   Good substitutions on the part of skipper Ken Chambers kept the Lady Rangers with fresh athletes on the floor for the second half, while Temple's limited depth seemed to fade in the final moments.
   Kelly Taylor hit some big three pointers in the contest hitting five from beyond the stripe. She would finish with 19 while Temple's Megan Dolan lead all scorers with 23.
   Chambers would comment after the game on his team's performance.
   "We played 10 people for most of the game, we've concentrated on rebounding and we rebounded the ball well," Chambers said. "We have to stop turnovers, we have to play better as a team and concentrate on making better entry passes to the post."
   The nightcap would give Temple an opportunity to enact a bit of vengeance for the Lady Ranger victory. They would follow through with classic form as the defending state champion Crusaders dealt a nasty loss to the Rangers.
   The game was characterized by the stellar play of college prospect Jake Skagel. Skagel was simply to much for the Ranger defenders to stop as he compiled 36 points in a stellar shooting performance.
   The Rangers played tough for the majority of the contest, showing strong efforts on both ends of the floor. Ranger standout Rusty Chambers contributed with 11 points in the first quarter, from that point on, the Temple defense put more emphasis the junior.
   The Temple offense put on a display of passing that continued to baffle the Ranger defenders, managing to find an open player at the crucial moments.
   The Rangers only clear advantage was off the glass, as the Rangers were able to compete rather well for rebounds. However rebounding became a moot point, due to the solid shooting displayed by the Crusaders.
   The second half saw intensity drop a bit as both teams cruised for the remainder of the ball game. The Rangers were further hampered by a second half injury to Josh Jones.
   Unaka head coach Donald Ensor was very respectful of his opponent after the game.
   "A lot of people now understand why this team won the state title last year," Ensor said. "They have a great coach and great players.
   "Physically we played pretty hard. We have to eliminate the mental errors. Unforced errors have to be taken care of if we are to win."