Tight-fisted games underscore tourney's semifinal round

By Tim Chambers

   Four teams advanced to Saturday's championship round of the Carter/Johnson County seventh-grade tournament by winning Friday night at Happy Valley Middle School. The losers played for third place.
   Cloudland 45
   Hampton 41
   The first girls game saw Cloudland and Hampton hook up in a tight-fisted affair with the Highlanders, prevailing 45-41. Cloudland used the inside outside game of Shelly McKinney and Jordan Miller to stay one step ahead of the Bulldogs.
   McKinney worked her way inside for 25 points while collecting 14 rebounds to lead the 'Landers. Miller tossed in seven, with four coming after the Bulldogs had cut the lead to two. Brooke Johnson added five.
   Mikki Oliver turned in a fantastic performance with 19 while Sarah Goodwin tossed in 11. Josie McKinney contributed five for the 'Dogs.
   Happy Valley 37
   Hunter 36
   The second girls game went down to the wire with Lindsey Toney tossing in a key basket down the stretch to give the Warriors a one-point win. Summer Ward had an impressive evening tossing in 12 for the Lady Warriors while Brittany Rice and Courtney Byers added nine and eight points for Happy Valley.
   Chelsea Anderson had a great day for the Tigers with 11 while Hannah Colbaugh added some beautiful inside moves enroute to a 10 point night. Kayla Winters tacked on a solid nine.
   Johnson County 32
   Happy Valley 28
   The first boys game of the night saw Happy Valley and Johnson County hook up in an old fashioned knock-down and drag out with Johnson County prevailing in the end 32-28. The game was tied 12 each at the half but the Longhorns managed to take a 20-14 lead at the end of three.
   The Warriors battled back in the fourth period behind two treys from Brandon Birchfield to tie the score at the end of regulation.
   The overtime period produced some exciting action but foul shots proved to be the key down the stretch for the Longhorns. They shot a blistering 6-6 in the second overtime.
   Austin Phipps led the way with 10 while Jesse Poteet added eight for the Horns. Birchfield led the Warriors with 10 while Adam Williams and Chris Bardo tossed in six each.
   Unaka 46
   Hunter 27
   The final game of the evening saw Unaka break open a close game near the end of the third quarter to knock off the Tigers by 19.
   Unaka held a slim 19-14 lead at the half as the Hunter defense held Unaka's Jeff Peters to three first-half points. Meanwhile the Rangers got some key buckets from Ryan Mick, Travis Taylor, Adam Colbaugh and Michael Bowers to aid the Unaka offense.
   Hunter used a balanced attack with almost every player scoring for the Tigers. Unaka held a 10-point lead with 1:12 remaining in the game but would outscore the Tigers 9-0 in the last minute to advance to the championship game.
   Peters battled his way for 13 to lead Unaka while Colbaugh trailed with eight. Mick had a nice evening tossing in eight points.
   Dakota Waters led the Tigers with seven while Drew Chambers added five.