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Ladies fall to Central, Science Hill

The Lady Blue Devils will have time to regroup after a pair of physical contests against Class AAA schools.
The Unicoi County High School girls basketball team (4-9) capped off the week by falling to Sullivan Central on Friday, Dec. 18, by a 53-43 score in Blountville.
Behind a trio of 3-pointers, two from Ashley Edwards and one from Ashlie Padgett, UCHS was able to seize control in the first quarter and held a 14-7 lead heading into the second.
With the Lady Cougars nipping at their heels, UCHS was able to continue the offensive attack heading into intermission thanks to a five-point spurt from freshman Chloe Powers and a buzzer-beating halfcourt heave from Hannah Rice. The Lady Blue Devils were able to snowball the effort to a 31-27 advantage.
Meg Crawford asserted herself down low for Central, limiting any shots in the paint, while the Lady Devils went cold from the field. Powers fired off a 3-pointer with just seconds on the clock to cap off a four-point third quarter. Sullivan Central was able to take the lead, 36-35, heading to the fourth.
A plethora of fouls went against the Lady Devils, allowing Central to pull away in the fourth for the win.
Edwards led the way for UCHS with 11 points, while Rice, who is just four points away from reaching the 1,000-point plateau, finished with nine points.
Ashlie Padgett and Powers finished with eight points each. Halie Padgett (five points) and Kaylee Hendrickson (two points) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Devils. Rachel Lynch also provided solid minutes for UCHS down low in the game.
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Halie Padgett posted a game-high 26-point performance in the paint, but it wouldn’t be enough to earn the upset in Johnson City.
UCHS made their presence felt in the first half against Science Hill, but were unable to hang on in a 68-55 loss to Science Hill on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Lady Hilltopper head coach Scottie Whaley praised the effort of Padgett, who dropped 16 points in the first quarter to keep her team within striking distance, 22-19, heading to the second frame.
“The first time we played them, Halie wasn’t back yet,” King said about the 56-38 loss to Science Hill last month. “I thought we did a good job tonight, but I think we maybe looked a little too much to her.”
Science Hill hung on to a single-digit lead at halftime. They were able to pull away in the third by outscoring UCHS 15-4.
With Padgett back for the Lady Devils, the Lady Hilltoppers also returned Abbey True, who made her way back to the court from injury. True added four 3-pointers in the contest to help stall any rallies by UCHS. Jenae Fields helped anchor Science Hill’s third quarter run with seven points during the frame.
“In the third quarter, when the lead grew, I thought we pouted around a little bit,” King said. “I thought we had a good first half and they kept playing hard in the fourth.”
Edwards dropped six points in the fourth while Neelee Griffith tacked on five in the frame.
Rice went for 12 points in the contest and Hendrickson added six points.
Hannah Rodgers led Science Hill with 23 points in the victory.
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The Lady Blue Devils will have a weeklong break before getting back to the hardwood on Monday, Dec. 28, competing in the annual Johnson City Honda Classic hosted at Daniel Boone High School.
Updates on the varsity and junior varsity tournaments in Gray will be featured online with information to appear in upcoming issues of The Erwin Record.