Lady Rangers wallop Jellico, 67-37

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Unaka Lady Rangers made sure they were involved in today's Region 1-A semifinals.
   With a slow start from both squads, Unaka used a strong inside presence and tenacious defense to put away Jellico in a 67-37 win at Lacy Fieldhouse Tuesday night.
   "We started out sluggish at first and Jellico played us tough," said Unaka coach Ken Chambers. "I told them at halftime to turn it up or we might as well settle for the loss. We started taking better shots and could score inside."
   The game started off slow on both ends, with Stacey Perkins and Ashley Hughes hitting some threes to put Jellico up by five. Coty Townsend made three big buckets to turn the Rangers around and take the lead 13-10 lead after one.
   Jellico did a good job of keeping up with Unaka defensively to open the second quarter, but Julie Roberson and Tiffany Babb made some big shots for Unaka and the Lady Rangers began to open it up with a 24-19 lead at the end of the half.
   Unaka opened the game shooting 35 percent, including a dismal one of ten from outside. They turned it around in the next frame.
   The Lady Rangers used buckets from Roberson and Kelly Taylor to go up 13 on Jellico halfway through the period and pulled up to a 20-point advantage. They kept battling strong behind Babb and Renee Ensor as they continued their prowess and got some significant time from their depth in the 67-37 win.
   Hughes led all scores with 18 for Jellico, but Roberson and Babb had 14 and 13 a piece for Unaka.
   It was important for Roberson to bounce back from a poor shooting effort in the district title game.
   "We didn't score much inside against Cloudland," said Roberson. "We stepped up tonight and it really pulled us to the win. We've got to keep playing defense tomorrow."
   The Lady Rangers will meet Hancock County at 4 p.m. today in the semifinals. Coach Chambers knows they will bring a tough game.
   "We have to play defense, if they don't they'll beat us," he said. "Their starting five can score and we've got to move our feet and get our big people involved inside."
   North Greene 53
   Powell Valley 51
   The early girls contest went down to the wire as the North Greene Lady Huskies were relentless in their efforts against the number two team from District two.
   North Greene led by two with under ten seconds left as Powell Valley took the ball and missed a clincher at the final buzzer giving the Huskies the victory.
   It was the last game in Powell Valley school history as they form the AA Cumberland Gap school beginning next season.
   Haley Williams and Patricia Penley led North Greene with 21 and 19, respectively. Shanoi Owens led the Lady Indians with 21 while Brooke Taylor added 10.