Little Milligan girls stymie Unaka in final

By Travis Brown

STAR Staff

   Unaka High school hosted district championship matchups Thursday night as local middle school basketball took its share of the limelight, starting with the girls small schools championship game.
   It would be Little Milligan defeating Unaka 29-21 in the title tilt.
   The young ladies offered up a classic duel between size and speed. Unaka held a distinct height advantage while the Buffaloes looked to exploit their quickness.
   The game would begin in the Lady Rangers' favor as they took an early lead on the strength of good work in the paint. By the end of the first period the Rangers lead 9-3.
   The second period saw the Lady Buffs come to life however, as shifty defense and transition baskets would pull them back into the contest. Little Milligan would then take the lead on the strength of four consecutive foul shots by Carolyn Mauck.
   Tara Potter would later hit a 12-footer at the horn to pull Unaka within one, as the Lady Buffs maintained a scant halftime lead.
   The third quarter would make all the difference in the contest, as the Buffalo defense created vast opportunities for the Milligan offense to put on a show.
   Commenting on his team's defensive display head coach David Cable talked about his defensive adjustments at halftime, "I told the girls to focus on moving their feet," Cable said. "We mixed up our press as well."
   The Lady Buffs combined stingy defense with a heroic effort on the boards as they managed to steal a fair share of rebounds away from the much larger Lady Ranger squad.
   These two factors combined to help the Lady Buffs secure a 10 point lead heading into the final period, a lead they would not relinquish.
   The fourth quarter saw both sides take chances on offense, Unaka's gambles did not work out as planned however, as turnovers would prevent the Lady Ranger offense from pulling within striking distance.
   After the contest, Cable discussed his team's play, "It's been the story for us all season," Cable said. "We have a different leading scorer every game, If someone is not on, then somebody else steps up."