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Bailey leads Jr. Lady Devils over T.A. Dugger

Early morning work proved to be the tipping point for Jr. Lady Devil eighth grader Kaitlin Bailey.
The Unicoi County Middle School girls’ varsity basketball team withstood a final quarter barrage from the Jr. Lady Cyclones to pick up a 37-34 win on Thursday, Jan. 7, in Erwin during an in-school varsity doubleheader.
Bailey had the sweet stroke for UCMS (9-4) throughout the second half, netting 12 of her game-high 17 points. Whether it was from the perimeter or attacking inside, head coach Lauren Trivette said she liked what she saw from Bailey.
“She had an awesome game for us today,” Trivette said. “Kaitlin was actually at the gym at 5:30 a.m. this morning to improve her shot. She’s a workhorse and one of the leaders for this team.”
Bailey dropped four points in the first quarter, while seventh graders Caroline Podvin and Leah Edney added two apiece to help the squad take a 8-6 lead. T.A. Dugger was able to outscore the Jr. Devils in the second quarter to cut the lead within a point at intermission, 15-14.
The Jr. Cyclones were able to knot things up, 24-24, heading into the final frame of play, but a steady attack from Nickolette Ferguson, Ashtan Vance, Podvin and Bailey allowed UCMS to pull away in the fourth, outscoring TAD 13-10 to come away with the triumph.
After dropping their contest to the Jr. Cyclones earlier in the season, the wear-and-tear mentally of an in-school environment slowly evaporated in the second half, Trivette said.
“I think it helped us playing in the second game,” Trivette said about the varsity double header with the boys’ team. “The environment was great and I think our girls adjusted after the first quarter and played well. It was a great team win.”
Podvin finished with six points. Lindsey King and Ferguson dropped four points each in the victory. Kaylia Street, Edney and Vance rounded out the UCMS scoring with two points each.
Kaitlyn Light led TAD with 11 points and was joined in double figures by Lydia Schubert with 10.
The win on Thursday capped off the week after UCMS was unable to pull away with a victory over Liberty Bell at home on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
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UCMS ended the regular season on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at home against Ross Robinson. Tournament action for middle school teams is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Jan. 16, at John Sevier Middle School. Brackets for the tournament were unavailable prior to The Erwin Record’s press deadline.