Lady Rangers fight off University High

By Tim Chambers
Star Correspondent

   JOHNSON CITY--Sprint might be calling Ranger guard Jessica Osborne in the near future. No one is better providing long distance service.
   Behind five long-range bombs by Osborne Unaka was able to fight off stubborn University High 53-46 Friday night at Brooks Gym.
   Unaka raced out to a 12-7 lead after the first period behind the outstanding post play of Julie Roberson. Roberson accounted for six points along with five rebounds inside the first five minutes of the game.
   The Rangers led 6-0 before University High would score their first bucket. A trey from the wing by Kristy Bennett helped the Bucs overcome a poor shooting first quarter to stay with five.
   Unaka extended the lead in the second quarter behind two long threes from Osborne but the Jr. Bucs would not fold. Dyana Bowers led a offensive surge, scoring 11 points in the period.
   Bennett capped off a 7-0 run by knocking down two more treys to close the gap at 23-21 at intermission.
   University caught fire in the third frame after buckets by Jo Thomas and Katie Crowe pushed the lead to 32-23 at the 5:32 mark.
   Coty Townsend cut the lead to six with a three from the wing followed by two more from Osborne and Renee Ensor which allowed the Rangers to close within two at 34-32.
   After a Jr. Buc turnover Tiffany Babb tied the score with a nice bank shot followed by Osborne fourth three of the game to help Unaka retake the lead at 37-34. Bennett answered with her fourth three to tie the score at 37 heading into the fourth stanza.
   Danielle Ensor nice move down low gave Unaka a 39-37 lead by a free throw and bucket from Crowe gave the Bucs a 40-39 advantage.
   Osborne's added her fifth trey along with a nice driving scoop shot to vault Unaka back in front 44-40 with 6:00.
   Roberson accounted for two buckets to keep Unaka out in front by six with 2:05 remaining.
   Free throws by Renee Ensor and Osborne down the stretch kept the Jr. Bucs from pulling off the upset.
   Osborne paved the way with 19 followed by Roberson and Renee Ensor with 10 each.
   Kristy Bennett tallied 14 to lead UH while Bowers and Crowe chipped in with 13 and nine respectively.
   We didn't play as well as we can," said Ranger head coach Kenneth Chambers. "After we adjusted our defense in the second half we were able to shut Bowers and Bennett down.
   They only had one three between them in the second half."