Lady 'Horns, 'Landers and Rangers prevail

By Wes Holtsclaw


   The Happy Valley Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament concluded Saturday night with five explosive games at Bayless Gymnasium.
   Johnson County defeated University High 40-35, Cloudland topped Hampton 62-50, Unaka overcame David Crockett 56-44, Elizabethton fell to West Greene in overtime 45-40, and Daniel Boone overwhelmed Happy Valley 64-38.
   Johnson County 40
   University High 35
   The Johnson County Lady Longhorns came out with a strong victory to open the tournament Saturday afternoon.
   Courtney Shaw scored 16 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to overcome a strong effort from the University High Lady Bucs.
   Ryan Tillman and Elena Owens had strong efforts for Johnson County during the second and third quarters when University High began to fight back in the contest.
   But a total team effort was too much for the Lady Bucs, as Johnson County took the strong victory.
   "It was a win, and that's what we wanted," said Johnson County coach Eric Crabtree, "We struggled a lot in the game, but we came out on top and that's all you can ask for. It certainly wasn't a beauty contest."
   Cloudland 62
   Hampton 50
   Despite a strong rally from the Lady Bulldogs in the second half, the Cloudland Lady Highlanders came out with a strong victory in the second game.
   Jessica Tolley (13 points), Heather Chambers (15 points) and Joy Gardner (13 points) all scored in double digits for the Lady Bulldogs, but they were overshadowed by a 30-point effort from Cloudland's Tara Hanson, including five three pointers.
   "We didn't play all that good and we could've done better," said Hanson. "We didn't give up and everybody pulled up there at the end."
   "Hampton played real well," said Cloudland coach Matt Birchfield. "They outplayed us. We shot horrible and didn't have the intensity in the game. Tara had several threes to help us out when it counted."
   "The freshmen came in and did good, and that's good for us. We've got some kids that need to step up and play, but they didn't give up."
   Unaka 56
   David Crockett 44
   The Unaka Lady Rangers got themselves in a dogfight early in their game against David Crockett, but came back after a first period deficit to pull out a strong win in the third matchup.
   Britney Hensley was a handful for the Lady Pioneers, scoring 20-points in the game, and kept David Crockett in the contest early.
   "We were trying to concentrate on stopping her," said Unaka coach Ken Chambers. "She was a very aggressive player. David Crockett is an improved team, they are for real this year.
   "We had a balanced attack again, we have been trying to concentrate on something better off of our turnovers and tried to work a lot on rebounds and defense in this game. We're glad to be 3-0, since we were 0-3 last year."
   Julie Roberson led Unaka with 13 points, while Renee Ensor and Kelly Taylor had 12 and 11, respectively. Unaka plays Happy Valley on Tuesday.
   West Greene 45
   Elizabethton 40, OT
   The fourth game of Saturday's action was a real showdown.
   The West Greene Lady Buffaloes and the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones battled hard through four quarters of play, leading to an overtime win for the Lady Buffaloes.
   Leading in the fourth quarter by four points, Elizabethton looked like they had sealed the cap on the contest. However, West Greene's Grace Swatzen hit a three, making it a one point game.
   After an uncalled foul and a pair of turnovers, Elizabethton gave West Greene a chance to win it on the foul line.
   After a pair of missed shots by the Lady Buffaloes, Sarah Smith hit two foul shots for Elizabethton to take a three point lead with under eight seconds left.
   West Greene came down the court with Freshman Kayla Ford, she got caught up in a Lady Cyclone defensive scheme and threw up a shot as time expired, it went down for three points to force the game in overtime.
   In the overtime period, Rikki Baughman hit a free throw to take the lead for Elizabethton, but some big plays from Michelle Shockley and Jacklyn Burger took the win for West Greene.
   Elizabethton's Valneesha Redd scored 12-points to lead the Lady Cyclones in the contest, but was fouled out in the fourth quarter, taking away her excellent defensive play.
   "We shot awful and couldn't execute our offense well," said Elizabethton coach Mike Wilson. "Our shooting percentage was terrible. It hurt us to lose (Redd), she is one of our better players, but nobody was shooting it well. It didn't matter who we put in there."
   Michelle Shockley led West Greene with 12 points as well in the game.
   Daniel Boone 64
   Happy Valley 38
   Jamie Perry and Jaime Massengill played strong games with double digits in the final game, leading the Daniel Boone Lady Trailblazers to a big win over the Happy Valley Lady Warriors.
   Daniel Boone took a 14-8 lead after the first quarter, and expanded throughout the remainder of the game with their impressive defensive attack.
   Brandi Dugger led Happy Valley with 13 points.