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JV Lady Devils advance to championship game

The Unicoi County High School Lady Blue Devil junior varsity basketball team opened up the District 1-AA underclassmen tournament with a dominating 54-26 victory over Sullivan East on Saturday, Jan. 31.
The win gave the Lady Devils a spot in the championship game, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7, at Sullivan South High School.
UCHS went into the tournament as the top seed, after posting a 9-2 record this season.
The team raced out to take a 25-4 lead at the end of the first quarter against East. They expanded that lead in the second frame and went into the locker room with a 35-9 advantage.
An intense effort in the early hours of the weekend was a sight to see for the up-and-coming Lady Devil varsity players, coach Jordan Simmons said.
“They don’t get a lot of court time during practice,” he added. “They don’t play in front of a lot of fans with a 3:30 p.m. game on a weekday afternoon, but for them to show up and give the effort they do every junior varsity game, it just says a lot about them as competitors and as athletes.
“Today we got off to that big start … coming over here on a Saturday morning and having that kind of energy says a lot about them. I can’t say enough about how hard this group competes and how hard they want to win.”
Ashley Edwards helped her squad get things going early, scoring all seven points in the opening frame.
Three Lady Devils scored in double figures against East – Halie Padgett had 18 point, Ashlie Padgett scored 13 and Neelee Griffith scored 10.
Kenedy King, Stephanie Wisse and Kaitlyn Tilson also reached the scoring column in the victory.
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The junior varsity Blue Devil basketball team couldn’t make it a UCHS sweep of Sullivan East on Saturday as the Patriots defeated UCHS, 65-55.
The Blue Devils played shorthanded in the contest, with just six players making the trip over against an East team comprised of a freshmen core that went undefeated last season.
While out-numbered, UCHS kept the fight alive, but were unable to secure the victory late in the game.
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UCHS underclassmen teams will join their varsity counterparts wrapping up the regular season.
Both teams will have games against David Crockett on Friday, Feb. 6, and Cloudland on Saturday, Feb. 7. The regular season is scheduled to end at Hampton on Monday, Feb. 9.
Lady Devil junior varsity games are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. each day. The Blue Devil junior varsity games are scheduled for 5 p.m.