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Devils defeat Madison Co., fall to Crockett

Revenge was on the mind of the Pioneers
After going 0-3 three against Unicoi County High School last season, David Crockett broke that losing streak with a 64-45 win against the Blue Devils on Friday, Nov. 21, at the Devils Den.
“Coach (John) English and his staff do a great job,” Pioneer head coach John Good said. “They make you work for everything you get and if you don’t capitalize on opportunities it’ll snowball. To compete against a program like this is huge. We lost against them three times last year and when we played over here, it was the same exact game and we got beat by 17 points. Our kids were able to grow and it was just a great enviroment tonight.”
David Crockett jumped out on the Blue Devils (4-2) early and captured a 20-6 advantage at the end of the first.
“You just can’t get put in a hole like early the game against a team like that,” English said. “After that we were behind double digits the rest of the game. It felt like after that first blitz of 20-5, 20-6, we got back in it a little bit but it was about missed opportunities.
“We were wide-eyed at times and had the deer-in-the-headlights look, especially there in the first quarter. You have to give (Crockett) credit for that, especially defensively for speeding it up and they forced a lot of turnovers early. They’re a veteran group and have a good basketball team over there.”
The Blue Devils were able to get into a small groove late in the first half and rattled off a 8-2 run to go into halftime trailing 34-19 after a three-pointer from freshman guard Trevor Hensley.
Pioneer point guard Patrick Good scored eight of his game-high 15 points in the third period to help prop David Crockett up 47-30. Davis Webb helped the Blue Devils chip away in the period knocking down a trey and a bucket.
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UCHS scored a blowout win earlier in the week over Madison County, 74-36, and this learning curve for the week will prove pivotal, English said.
“We figured some things could have been exposed tonight,” he added, “and that’s good. We can go back to the drawing board and learn from this. Inexperience didn’t help, that’s a veteran team over there. We didn’t want to play zone and they cause those type of matchups you don’t like.
“Early in the season, that’s what you want,” English continued. “We’ve got to rebound the ball better. Shot making is a make-or-miss game. We had some open looks, didn’t knock them down and we didn’t shoot a high percentage tonight but you can live with that, that’s just a part of basketball. We’ve got to be more locked-in defensively. We gave up too many easy transition points.”
Webb led the Blue Devils on the night with 13 points. Merrick Nicksi tallied 12 points.
Will Shelton and Jacob Smith combined for 11 rebounds.
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The Blue Devils were back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 25, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline in the annual Hardee’s Classic in Jonesborough. Win or lose on Tuesday, the Devils will play on Friday and Saturday. For game results and updates on the tournament schedule, check out The Erwin Record Sports Facebook page.