By Tim Chambers
AFTON — Three wins over University High had proven to be a charm for Cloudland, but a fourth one was needed to reach the Region 1-A championship game.
The Highlanders never trailed in their 64-53 win over the Junior Bucs, earning them a berth in Monday’s sub-state.
A couple of early baskets by Zac Potter keyed an 8-0 run before UH scored. Head coach Brandon Carpenter had watched Unaka fall behind by a large margin early to Hampton — a team the Rangers had defeated three times. He didn’t want the same results for his squad.
“I thought our defensive pressure from the start set the tone,” said Carpenter. “Our kids got after them and a lot of times their guards were spinning into traps. We were fortunate to get a few balls that bounced out, which resulted in some easy baskets. But those two guards (Taylor and Hilbert) are tough. We weren’t comfortable until the game was over.”