The perfect setting for a double-double was the second round of the Trailblazer Classic and that was more than enough motivation for Lady Devil sophomore Destinie Hayes.
Hayes topped out with 22 points and 22 rebounds as the Unicoi County High School Lady Devils (7-6, 1-1) defeated Unaka High School 73-41 in the second round of the third annual Johnson City Honda Trailblazer Classic hosted at Daniel Boone High School last week.
Shes really come along for us, UCHS head coach Kerri King said. I was proud of her to get the double-double.
Blue Nation held a 34-22 lead going into halftime until Kings squad blew the game wide open, scoring 19 unanswered points in the third quarter. The run sealed the game for the Lady Devils.
Emily Edwards tossed in 15 points in the win, while junior Whitley True fired in 13 points to top out as Lady Devils in double figures. Whitney Webb nearly clocked in with double-figures, hitting nine points, while tacking on a pair of assists during the afternoon game of the tournament.
Brandi Ensor led the Lady Rangers with 16 points.
On Wednesday, Dec. 26, the Lady Devils opened up the Trailblazer Classic by squaring off against the home-standing Lady Trailblazers in the nightcap of the opening round of action.
The Lady Devils held a one-point advantage at halftime, 26-25, but ultimately would fall to the Big Eight Conference squad, 65-54.
Unicoi is always going to play you hard and tough, Boone head coach Travis Mains said. We threw 10 to 11 girls during the night against their six and they played us tough, but they started to wear down there towards the end.
The Lady Trailblazers held the 16-13 advantage after the first quarter until Kings squad was able to get back into the game following a quick 6-0 run from sophomore Tiffany Laughren and Chelsey Harness early in the second quarter.
The Lady Devils held a 21-18 lead at the 2:02 mark of the second quarter, then Boones Allison Littleton was able to knock down back-to-back buckets to give the Trailblazers the 22-21.
A basket by Hayes and a three-point play by Laughren gave the Lady Devils a one-point lead going into halftime.
The game continued to be a back and forth affair early in the second half with Boone outscoring the Lady Devils,18-16, in the third quarter to go into the fourth with a 43-42 lead.
Their size advantage then allowed the Trailblazers, who capped off a 16-3 run in the early going of the fourth quarter, to pull away with a victory.
Edwards led UCHS with a 15-point effort while Laughren capped off the night by tossing in 13 points. True reached the 10-point plateau after drilling a pair of treys in the game. Harness had six points in the contest with five rebounds and three steals.
We used our size to our advantage during the game, Mains said. Jenny (Snyder) was able to get open in the paint for us and we capped off some late buckets from Jaclyn (Jenkins) and built on that momentum early in the fourth.
Snyder led the Lady Trailblazers with 17 points, while Littleton threw in 10 points of her own in the win.
The Lady Devils faced Gate City, Va., after The Erwin Records holiday deadline. Be sure to stay up to date with The Erwin Record Facebook page for updates on the tournament. The remainder of the Trailblazer Classic will also be featured in the Jan. 8. edition of The Erwin Record.
The Lady Devils will look to gather win number two in the Three Rivers Conference this week when they host Happy Valley on Friday, Jan. 4. Hampton will then travel to the Devils Den in Erwin on Saturday. Varsity games are set for 6:30 p.m. while junior varsity games tip off at 3:30 p.m.
By Curtis Carden