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Unaka takes control early for the win against Lady Horns

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

Friday night was full of basketball action as the Lady Longhorns took on the Unaka Rangers. The house was packed with Longhorn fans ready to cheer on their favorite team. The first quarter the girls were right there with The Lady Rangers.
The Lady Horns were working hard to get the ball inside their post players and keep the ball away from Unaka’s top player Lyndie Ramsey.
They did a good job keeping it away from the star player for the most part. The second quarter was a little more intense, with the Lady Horns point guard in foul trouble. Peyton Gentry had three fouls halfway into the second quarter, so Coach Kechia Eller had no choice but to take her out.
Without Gentry’s leadership on the court, the girls struggled a little, but the backup was found in the lead scorer for the night, Brookanna Hutchins. She worked hard and fought to the bitter end. She was tough offensively with 16 points at the end of the game. Eller was proud of Hutchins, “Brookanna really stepped up big for us and took some leadership on the floor.” With 2:39 on the clock in the second quarter, the Horns fell behind 14-20. Fouls and errors were discouraging, but Unaka struggled to get their shots in, especially foul shots, which helped keep the
score down in the second quarter.
With momentum low for the Horns, Sierra Green gave the young team the boost it needed with a beautiful three-point shot closing out the second quarter. The motivation was short-lived as Unaka kept gaining on the Lady Horns with a nine-point advantage ending the first half of the game.
Unaka came out firing in the second quarter while Johnson County struggled to make things happen. Unaka won 58-36. Eller said, “In the third quarter, we struggled with transitions and rushed our offense. Our posts have to get some touches for our offense to click.” She added, “We need our guards to be more of a threat offensively, whether it’s attacking the paint or getting good shots from the perimeter.”
The ladies are young, but they will continue improving and gaining more confidence in the coming weeks.