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JV Lady Devils win conference tournament

It was all about the battle for the Unicoi County High School Lady Blue Devil junior varsity basketball team on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Ashley Edwards led the Lady Blue Devils with a game-high 16 points and was joined in double figures by sisters Halie and Ashlie Padgett for Unicoi County High School in their 48-33 victory over Elizabethton in the Three Rivers Conference underclassmen championship held at Sullivan South High School.
“They just battled,” UCHS coach Jordan Simmons said. “And that’s what they’ve done all year long. We’ve had a couple of games where we may sleepwalk a little bit early, but for the most part that effort has been consistent all season.
“It’s like what I told the team. I don’t care if this is a JV tournament or it is a Saturday afternoon and there are 20 people in the stands, winning a championship is something huge for our program … especially beating a program like Elizabethton. They may not realize it right now but the rest of us kind of do … this is huge for the team and we’re very proud of them.”
The defense paid dividends early with UCHS on the front end of a 22-20 score at halftime.
“We were running man,” Simmons said. “We switched stuff, Halie Padgett and Rachel Lynch guarding guards, Ashlie Padgett guarding posts. It worked for us.”
H. Padgett finished with 15 points and A. Padgett added 13. Lynch and Neelee Griffith each added a bucket to wrap up the scoring efforts.
The UCHS team entered the tournament as the top seed after finishing the regular season with the best record overall.
Lady Blue Devils featured on the roster included: A. Padgett, H. Padgett, Edwards, Griffith, Lynch, Kenedy King, Kaitlyn Tilson and Katie Crain.