Rangers surprise Patriots

By Travis Brown
STAR Staff

   The Unaka Rangers continue to have the pieces fall into place, as they posted a victory against the 3-A Patriots of Sullivan East with a 66-56 win.
   The Lady Rangers however would not be so fortunate as the perennial powerhouse Lady Pats were just to much for the young Rangers as they fell to the Red, White and Blue 54-32.
   The problems started early in the contest as the Lady Rangers came out of the first quarter trailing by a 7 point margin, as the Patriot's Katie O'Dell and Katie Miller posted all 11 first quarter points for East.
   The second quarter was a better period for the Lady Rangers, as the scoring picked up somewhat. Mandy Robertson put up 6 points in the stanza as the pace picked for both teams. Despite the solid period however, the Lady Rangers were down 25-17.
   The second half was a bitter struggle for the Lady Rangers as they played hard, but simply could not manage to keep an offensive run. O'Dell along with Brittany Perry, helped to pace the Patriots during the second half.
   Second chance points, along with solid offensive rebounding by the Patriots were enough to overcome the Ranger's tough play, and go home with the 22 point victory.
   After the contest Lady Ranger head coach Kenneth Chambers was very proud of his girls and their effort against one of the area's top teams, "Overall I was proud of our girls, our execution was off on offense and it needs some work," said Chambers "There a good defensive team, and we're working hard to become better."
   In the nightcap, the Gentlemen were up to the task, as they showcased some stellar shooting en route to a solid victory over a capable Patriot team.
   In the first quarter the Pats opened up an early lead as they took command 9-0 before Ranger skipper Donald Ensor had enough. After the time-out the Rangers went on a tear. After a 9-2 Ranger run the Patriots had seen enough as well. The Patriots called time as they clung to an 11-9 lead.
   After the end of the first quarter, Ensor's pep talk must have hit the spot as Aaron Dugger went on a tear. With 11 points in the second period alone Dugger opened up a large advantage heading into halftime 32-24 at the half.
   With the second quarter blast under their belts, the Rangers looked to stretch the lead in the third quarter. Led by Dugger once more the Rangers added 2 more to the lead as defense was the hot topic in the second half.
   The fourth quarter was an offensive contest in which both teams put up 21 points. John Schultz lead and Adam Hughes lead the Pats in the forth as well as the entire game, as they put up 17 points in the contest.
   But it was too little too late, as the Rangers would cruise to an impressive 10 point victory.
   After the contest Ensor was pleased with his teams performance, "We defended and rebounded the ball well tonight," said Ensor "Were playing ball pretty well.
   Citing problems closing out the game, Ensor hopes that his club is far from peaking, "Were seeing more team play, and that is great, but we still need to play hard until the game is over."