Jr. 'Dogs, 'Landers prevail, will meet for championship

Photo by Rick Harris
Cloudland's Adam Cole takes a fadeaway jumper as Hunter's Cody Smith (25) and Jeff Wilson try to obstruct the shot.
By Tim Chambers
STAR Correspondent

   A cold hamburger is not very tasteful, and neither was the offense of a poor shooting group of steers Thursday night at Unaka High School. The big blue machine of Hampton took advantage of the Longhorns' lack of offense to earn a 38-20 semifinal victory in the district tournament.
   Hampton jumped out to a 9-3 advantage in the first behind five points from Bobby James. After a Jarred Irick bucket two minutes into the game, Justin Bentley would follow suit with a strong move in the paint to boost the Bulldog lead.
   James would proceed to slice through the Longhorn defense with a runner in the paint followed by a deuce from the corner. A Tyler Leonard field goal was all the offense the 'Horns could muster in the first period.
   James continued his dominance in the second quarter scoring seven points in the period. Two
Longhorn hoops by Matt Cornett and Devin Shaw edged the 'Horns within seven, but baskets by Dustin Jaynes and a buzzer beater by James would extend the lead to 21-10 at the break
   The 'Dogs found offensive help in the third behind a long three from Dustin Milhorn and a baseline jumper by Lucas Andrews. Meanwhile the Longhorns offense would shut down in the third putting up a goose egg falling behind 30-10 after three quarters of play.
   A Bentley basket followed by a Jonathan Scalf three pushed the lead to 25 early in the fourth quarter. The 'Horns finally found some offense in the fourth behind five points from Leonard and three free throws from Ronnie Roark
   The 'Horns got a basket from Brian Dollar but would come up two dimes short at the end.
   James led all scorers with 14 while Bentley added six. Leonard tallied eight to pace the Horns while Roark chipped in with five.
   Cloudland 35
   Hunter 18
   I want to be like Mike could be heard among the crowd at Snavely Gymnasium in the nightcap game between Hunter and Cloudland. Michael Lunsford would outscore the entire Tiger team with 20 points to lead the Highlanders into tonight's championship game against Hampton.
   Hunter took a 2-0 lead on a bucket by Hunter Taylor to start the game but would go nearly two quarters without a field goal. Meanwhile, Lunsford's deep three near the end of the period gave Cloudland a 9-2 lead.
   Two free throws from Jeff Wilson was all the Hunter offense mustered in the second quarter while the Highlanders continued to roll behind Lunsford and Brett Stocton. The Highlanders led 17-4 at halftime.
   The Highlanders extended their lead to 32-7 in the third on a bucket by Jordan Hughes and a layup at the buzzer from Lunsford. Meanwhile the Tiger offense grew more frigid than a half-dressed Eskimo in a igloo full of snowballs, scoring only nine points in three quarters.
   The Tigers managed to find some offense in the fourth quarter outscoring the 'Landers 9-3 but could get no closer than the final margin.
   Along with Lunsford's 20, Stocton tossed in six for the Highlanders while Wilson tallied four for the Tigers.
   Small Division Consolation
   Keenburg 58
   Range 41
   Range started out like smooth riding V-8 Cadillac but in the end it would be the Tigers who were running on all cylinders. Johnny Glass and Cody Marley combined for 39 points to lead the Tigers to a third-place small division win.
   Range jumped out to a 15-13 lead in the first behind three long treys from Dustin Tolley, Michael Stone and Brett Humphreys. The Tigers stayed close behind the outstanding play of Glass and Marley.
   Range continued to play well in the second period as Anthony Scalf acrobatic move down the lane followed by a beautiful half-court pass from Tolley to gave Range at 20-19 lead. Matt Oaks bucket at the :50 mark extended the lead to 27-20 but Marley's layup closed the gap to 27-22 at the break.
   Just like Kelloggs Frosted Flakes, the Tigers were G-G-Great in the third stanza as Marley and Glass continued their offensive production, scoring 11 in the quarter aided by two from Matt Rasnick.
   The fourth quarter would be all Keenburg as the Windex man Johnny Glass produced six offensive rebounds along with 10 points in the period. Dustin Tolley tried to keep the Rebels close with five in the fourth, but it was too little to late for the Rebel cause.
   Glass led all scorers with 24 while Marley tossed in 15 to pace the Tiger attack. Tolley and Stone were solid for Range with 11, while Oaks stood tall with nine.
   Small Division Consolation
   Unaka 29
   Little Milligan 20
   A Buffalo stampede stormed through Snavely Gymnasium in the first half of the girls consolation game, but in the end it would be the big red machine that would come out on top.
   Behind a sticky defensive effort in the second half, Unaka knocked off Little Milligan for third place in the small school division.
   Unaka jumped out to 2-0 lead on a basket by Dana Williams but the Buffaloes answered behind the hot shooting of Megan Holtsclaw. Holtsclaw accounted for all Buffalo points in the quarter, on two long threes while tossing in a baseline jumper and a layup.
   The Buffaloes' 10-3 lead would be short-lived as Unaka fought back behind four points from Williams and three from point guard Natalie Johnson. Megan Reid's free throw near the end of the quarter gave Little Milligan a 11-10 lead at intermission.
   Both teams fought dead even in the third period as the Jones connection, Sarah and Danielle, along with Williams tossed in buckets for Unaka. Holtsclaw, Reid and Allen answered for Little Milligan, with the Buffaloes holding a slim 17-16 lead after three.
   Unaka turned on the jets in the fourth period, using a full-court press, which caused the Buffaloes more trouble than a one-legged man in a field-goal kicking contest.
   Williams and Sarah Jones would spark the offensive attack while Johnson ran the Ranger offense to perfection in the closing minutes of the game.
   Williams tossed in 12 to lead the Rangers while Jones and Johnson added six and five points to the cause.
   Holtsclaw tied for game high honors with 12 to lead the Buffaloes.