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Blue Devil basketball team best rival

Danny Lowery goes up for a jump shot at Happy Valley on Friday, Nov. 30. (Photo contributed by Teresa Parkey)

From Staff Reports

The Unicoi County High School boys’ basketball team (3-3, 1-0) passed its first Three Rivers Conference test of the season last week.

Playing against their old rivals at Happy Valley on Friday, Nov. 30, the Blue Devils controlled the game from the opening tip, taking a 14-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 32-19 lead at halftime.

“I was very proud of the effort the guys gave,” head coach Michael Smith said of the victory over the Warriors. “They really got after it.”

A bright spot for the Blue Devils on Friday was their defensive pressure. The team forced the Warriors into 19 turnovers, which led to 21 points for UCHS. The Blue Devils also out rebounded Happy Valley, 35-29.

UCHS saw its lead balloon to as much as 17 points in the final quarter. The Warriors made a run, cutting that lead to 10 points, 57-47; however, four free throws by Unicoi County’s Danny Lowery and two by Gavin Casey sealed the victory for the Blue Devils. UCHS won the game, 63-48.

“We are happy to be 1-0 in the league and are ready to move on to the next game,” Smith said.

Casey, a senior guard, led the team in scoring with 17 points. Sophomore Brock Thompson had 15 points (3 three-pointers) 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Senior post Austin O’Dell had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Lowery, a senior post, had 8 points and 5 rebounds. Junior Brett Lingerfelt had 6 points (1 three-pointer) and senior Ty Thelen had 3.

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The Blue Devils hosted Sullivan South in conference action on Tuesday, Dec. 4, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue.

Smith’s team is scheduled to host conference foe Johnson County on Friday, Dec. 7. They will also travel to Hampton for a non-conference game on Monday, Dec. 10. Junior varsity games are set for 5 p.m. each day, followed by the varsity at 8 p.m.