By Rick Sheek
Billy Bales was the king of Snavely Gymnasium on Tuesday night, and clutch plays from his teammates added icing on the cake.
The senior guard fired in a career-high 34 points, triggering Unaka past Hampton 80-78 in a Watauga Valley Conference basketball double-overtime thriller. Bales scored three of the Rangers’ five points in the second OT.
“It feels good, just being a rival game,” Bales said. “I knew we had to come in and step up. Playing in front of an electric crowd, Snavely was packed for us.
“My teammates stepped up and came together. We just fought at the end.”
Hampton’s Cody McClain had forced the second overtime with a 3-pointer, knotting the affair at 75-apiece. Stanley Valentine’s free throw put the Bulldogs (14-7) up a point to begin the ensuing period.