Unaka takes pair from South

  In a game that was uglier than a buck-toothed beaver, Unaka knocked off Sullivan South 41-37 in the first round of the Volunteer Classic. The Ladies Rangers held on to defeat South, 47-41.
  In the boys contest, neither team found their shooting touch as both squads were colder than spring water running off the Holston Mountain in mid-December. Unaka got their first points on a post move by Rusty Holstclaw and later tied the score on a spin move by Chase Reeves.
  Both teams would go over three minutes without scoring until Tyler McCann connected on a jumper giving Unaka an 8-6 advantage after one.
  "The only positive thing you can say about this game is that we won," stated Unaka head coach Donald Ensor. "It sure wasn't a pretty game to watch."
  The second quarter was much like the first with South outscoring Unaka 8-6 in the period. Unaka used a bucket from Paul Waters to retake the lead only to see Conklin convert another three-point play giving South a 14-12 lead. Adam Buckles tied the score at 14-14 with a sweet kiss of the glass at the .09 mark.
  Just like Martha and the Vandellas, Unaka opened like a heat wave to retake the lead in the third thanks to baskets from Holtsclaw and McCann. South rode the play of Beau Hauldren to regain a 22-20 lead after converting a three-point play.
  The lead see-sawed back and forth until a basket by Brad Conklin and two free throws from Tyler Cole pushed South in front, 29-24, after three quarters of play.
  Unaka surged back to tie the game at 30-30 when McCann scored while Derek Cline and Josh Lowe added two free throws each. The lead swapped hands twice until Holtsclaw's jumper gave the Rangers a 34-32 lead.
  South then went on a 6-0 run capped off by a trey from Daniel Lesson to take a 37-34 lead. Unaka took a 38-37 lead after back-to-back hoops from Holtsclaw and McCann.
  Free throws by Daniel McInturff and Cline would provide the final margin. Unaka held South scoreless the final two minutes of the game.
  McCann paced the Rangers with 12 while Holtsclaw followed with 10. Hauldren was the only player in double figures for South with 15.
  "Defensively I thought we were pretty sound but offensively we dribbled the ball off our legs and committed too many unforced turnovers," added Ensor. "We were very fortunate to win."
  Unaka takes on today at 5:30 in the second round of the tournament at Volunteer.
  Unaka, 47-41
  Playing without leading scorer Jessica Osborne, out due to an ankle injury, Unaka still managed to knock off Sullivan South 47-41. South came in with a 10-3 overall record.
  Unaka led 10-9 after one period of play after five different players scored buckets during the first eight minutes.
  "We came out like looking like we hadn't played in a week," stated Ranger head coach Kenneth Chambers. "It took us too long to get going."
  The Rangers took a 13-9 lead when Julie Roberson converted on a three-point play at the 7:00 mark. South managed a tie on a bucket from Brittany Kilgore but the lead was short lived thanks to a long three by Coty Townsend giving Unaka a 19-16 advantage.
  Townsend drilled her second trey with .09 seconds remaining giving Unaka a 22-16 lead at the half.
  South used two, three-point plays by Samantha Williams and Ashley Hood to close within one at 26-25. After a deuce from Danielle Ensor, South tied the score on a jumper by Morgan Poole. The Rebels outscored Unaka 12-6 in the quarter to tie the score at 28-28.
  Unaka came out hotter than bacon frying in hot grease with Renee Ensor, and Roberson connected on baskets that pushed the margin at six. Lacey Gouge helped the cause with a full-court drive followed by a nice feed from Sallee Taylor to Danielle Ensor that increased the advantage at 40-32.
  Another Townsend three at the 3:00 mark gave Unaka a 10-point lead but South refused to throw in the towel. The Lady Rebels managed to get within three but two Taylor's free throws at the .24 second mark sealed the deal for the Lady Rangers.
  Townsend was the leading scorer for Unaka with 15 including three treys. Roberson followed with 14 points and eight blocked shots in the contest. Williams topped South with 15.
  "It hurt not having Jessica (Osborne) and Babb couldn't play much because of her ankle," added Chambers. "We got to work on defense because we got beat too much on the backside.
  "Renee (Ensor) and Lacey (Gouge) played well and Coty (Townsend) did a good job offensively. I thought Julie (Roberson) stepped up on the defensive end and scored well inside. Sallee (Taylor) gave us some good minutes off the bench. We got to do a better job early in the game. But for the most part I thought we hung in there and did a good job."