Lady 'Toppers rip host Happy Valley

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   The Science Hill Lady Toppers came away with an impressive victory over the Happy Valley Lady Warriors in a 74-39 final on Saturday at Bayless Gym.
   "We have to learn to have a killer instinct, and when you get in certain situations, you have to take the opportunity to put teams away," said Science Hill coach Brenda Evans.
   The Warriors hung tough in the first half of play, as they took the lead early in the contest 6-4, off of two back to back buckets coming from Brandi Morgan.
   Alisha Dill was the big gun for the Toppers by scoring twenty on the night, twelve coming in the first two periods of play.
   The Warriors trailed 14-10 after the first quarter, but was unable to score in the first few minutes of play in the second with Science Hill rolling off eight points to capture a twelve margin lead.
   Happy Valley tried to keep pace with three consecutive buckets coming from Kandra Roberts, who finished as the Warriors leading scorer with twelve.
   After being behind 31-20 at the half, things did not go well for the Lady Warriors in the second half, as the relentless press wore down their offense.
   Science Hill put together forty-three points in the last two periods to blow the game open, making it thirty-five point rout.
   "We played good in the first half, but as they kept on pressing us they wore us down in the second," said Happy Valley coach Ben Godsey.
   A game that apparently appeared to be a done deal was not so, as the Unaka Lady Rangers fought back, only to come up short against Daniel Boone in a 62-54 loss.
   "I think we've got better each game we've played, and the key is not whether we win or loss, but that we get better," said Unaka coach Kenneth Chambers.
   The Trailblazers jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first quarter with Jessica Bacon taking control inside the paint by scoring six points and ending with fourteen on the night.
   Daniel Boone continued to pad their lead through the second and third periods, as they built a twenty-one point lead 49-28 heading into the fourth.
   When it looked like the game was over for the Rangers, they somehow found a way to scrap back into it.
   Unaka nailed five three-pointers in the last quarter, three of them from Mandy Roberson, who ended up with six on the night.
   The Rangers were able to close within ten with 4:55 left in the game, after Kelly Taylor hit a tray.
   Unaka was able to get within seven with two minutes left, but that was as close as they came.
   "We played our tempo and did things we wanted to do in the first three quarters, but in the fourth it was all Unaka," said Daniel Boone coach Tim Campbell.
   In Friday night's action Sullivan Central Lady Cougars ousted Unaka in a 61-39 final at Bayless Gym.
   The Cougars took control from the start, as they built an eight point lead in the first quarter of play, led by Lauren Burke who poured in four buckets.
   The Lady Rangers seemed to have some trouble with the size match-up inside, as Sullivan Central pounded the glass for second shot opportunities.
   "I thought we had good ball movement, and after two or three minutes we settled down to get the overload on one side, and then throw it down low," said Sullivan Central coach Gary Surcey.
   Unaka pulled within five in the second period off a Kelley Taylor three-pointer to make it 16-11 with over six minutes left until half-time, but this was the closest the Rangers came.
   The Cougars went on an 8-0 run right before the half to take a commanding lead of 32-17.
   Things did not improve for Unaka in the third quarter, as Sullivan South's defense held the Rangers to just two field-goals and two free-throws.
   The Lady Rangers held their own in the last period of play by hitting six of seven shots from the free-throw line, but the deficit was too tall of an order to overcome.
   "We were out-sized, but I think we out hustled them and got a lot of scrappy shots, but most of them just didn't go in," said Unaka coach Kenneth Chambers.
   The Sullivan South Lady Rebels were victorious over the Happy Valley girls with a 52-38 win.
   "We played three good quarters and shot the ball well, but we just have to learn how to finish games a little bit better," said Sullivan South coach Jeremy Jenkins.
   It was a close first quarter with the Warriors grabbing a 8-4 lead mid-way through, as Kourtney Goulds scored on a couple of shots.
   Sullivan South was able to comeback by rattling off eight straight points, and a last second shot at the buzzer from Brandi Morgan made it 12-10 game in favor of the Rebels.
   Happy Valley's offense struggled to get on track in the second, as their half court offense was stifled, only producing six points and falling behind by twelve with a 28-16 score at half-time.
   The Warriors did not produce any kind of offense, dating back to mid-way through the second quarter, which put them on a 14-0 drought until the six and a half minute mark in the third with a bucket from Morgan.
   Happy Valley's offense was still unproductive, as Terra Whaley scored the only other shot in the third period slipping to a 43-20 deficit.
   The Warriors picked up the pace in the final quarter, as the press and fast-break pulled them within ten with just 1:24 left in the game.
   This was as much of a charge as the Warriors could make with the clock coming into play ending Happy Valley's great fourth quarter run.
   "We really struggled during the second and third quarters, but we got after them in the last one, and I'm happy with how our kids came back to cut the score down to ten in the last few minutes," said Happy Valley coach Ben Godsey.