BY ADAM GREENE
For nearly three quarters the North Greene boys basketball team matched Unaka shot-for-shot in their second District 1-AA match up. In the fourth period, the Rangers' deep bench finally took its toll, with Unaka running away with the game, winning 63-42 at Jerome Woolsey Gymnasium Friday night.
"Fatigue set in and we had a couple of players get hurt," North Greene coach Brandon Broyles said. "They're a great ball team. They pressed and dogged us the whole way. You've got to tip your hat to those kids."
North Greene (11-8, 0-5 District 1-AA) stood toe-to-toe with the Rangers (10-7, 2-2) from the opening whistle. The Huskies took a one-point lead midway through the second period on a free throw from Garrett Harbin. Harbin was in the paint all day for the Huskies, finishing with 17 points.
Unaka was still able to expand its lead in the second period, going into halftime up 25-21. Logan Carrier had done much of the damage for the Rangers, scoring eight points in the second quarter.
"We did a great job in the first half rebounding with them, but in the second half they won that battle," Broyles said. "We wouldn't checking back and weren't thinking. We've got to get to the point where we can just play and I don't have to direct us through everything."
Midway through the third period, Unaka took command for good. Carrier continued to hit his shots in front of and beyond the arc, putting in nine more points. Ely Rosnick added six points and Billy Bales added five to help the Rangers lay down a 20-12 run.
Unaka continued capitalizing on turnovers and quick transition baskets in the fourth, finishing the game with an 18-9 fourth quarter.
North Greene couldn't match the tempo and struggled to push the ball up the floor.
"When you play somebody that's aggressive like that, it does turn you timid a little bit," Broyles said. "This was a big ballgame and it may have been nerves. They were up on us and pressuring us a little bit and my kids just didn't look up the floor."
Carrier finished with 21 points for Unaka. Rosnick scored 19 and Bales had nine.
Troy Hall and Brett Pollock each scored seven apiece for North Greeneville.
The Huskies host Greene County-rival Greeneville tonight at Jerome Woolsey Gym with game time set for 8 p.m.