Regional titles claimed by Jr. Rangers, Bulldogs

By Kim Richardson
STAR Correspondent

   MOUNTAIN CITY--It's called exceeding expectations.
   "At the beginning of the season we really weren't expecting very much out of this team," Coach Mark Revis of the regional champion Unaka Rangers said following Unaka's 48-36 title victory over Fall Branch Saturday afternoon.
   Coach Revis continued, "We're young, but they've worked so hard. It's so rewarding to see them succeed. I have honestly never been so proud as I am of these guys"
   Unaka's offense was in high-gear and their defensive pressure caused several turnovers as the Rangers shot out to a 17-8 lead after one quarter. Tournament MVP Jeff Peters scored eight of his game-leading 24 points in the first.
   The second quarter ended with Fall Branch outscoring Unaka nine to four to close the halftime gap to 21-17.
   In the fourth, Fall Branch actually captured the lead at 31-30 before Unaka answered with a deuce, only to have fall Branch hit a three to re-take the lead at 34-32.
   But ultimately fouls and foul shots would tell the final tale as Unaka hit and amazing 15 of 17 free throws as Fall Branch managed only seven points in the final quarter. In all, three Fall Branch players fouled out of the game as the Rangers continued to hold up at the free-throw line to seal the win.
   Peters said there was no doubt. "Not even when they took the lead twice," he said. "We were not going to let them beat us. We've worked too hard to lose now."
   Adam Colbaugh said he wasn't nervous at all while shooting, and hitting four of four free-throw attempts in the game's final minute.
   "Not at all," said Colbaugh. This is what we played all season for. I didn't want to let the team down."
   Tyler Wash and Thomas Colbaugh each had seven points for Unaka and Adam Colbaugh added five. Travis Taylor had four points to include one key free throw in the fourth period.
   "No sweat," said Taylor. "We just had it when it counted most. The trophy's going to Stoney Creek."