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Lady Cyclones too much for Lady Devils

Upset was in the mind on the Lady Devils, but an offensively-charged second quarter proved to be too much as Elizabethton won the game and maintained their undefeated Three Rivers Conference record.
The Unicoi County High School Lady Devils (6-4, 1-1) wrapped up a busy three-game week on Saturday, which was highlighted by a hard-fought conference bout with the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones on Friday, Dec. 15. The Lady Devils fell 62-46.
The Lady Cyclones and the Lady Devils opened up the contest trading by buckets in the early going, but a 7-2 run in the final two minutes by Elizabethton put the Lady Cyclones ahead 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Elizabethton quickly came out of the gate in the second quarter and outscored the Lady Devils 21-7 in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 36-18 lead.
“I thought in the first half we were just doing silly things,” UCHS head coach Kerri King said. “We didn’t do the things we should have and played out of our element.”
King’s crew put on a second half rally.
Sophomore Lady Devil Tiffany Laughren went on a tear for UCHS in the second half. Finishing as the Lady Devils’ leading scorer with 17 points, Laughren tossed in 15 of her points in the second half.
“In the first half she wasn’t complacent,” King said. “Tiffany plays that way and she really came on in the second half and played very well. She’s one of our cogs on our team that keeps us going.”
Laughren scored nine in the third quarter, while Destinie Hayes, Chelsey Harness and Hannah Rice all chipped in baskets to cut the lead Lady Cyclones lead to 41-33 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Devils cut the deficit to six points in the first three minutes of the final quarter, but a late 7-0 run in the final two minutes by Elizabethton pushed the Lady Cyclone lead to 13 points, 55-42, at the 1:39 mark.
Haley Webb chipped in a three-pointer to cut the lead to 10 points, but Elizabethton would hold on to pull away with the victory.
In the loss, bright spots can be found, according to King, as her girls continued with some key hustle plays late in the game.
“They never gave up,” she added. “Our girls did a lot of growing up tonight and the upside of a game like this is huge. We’ve got a steeper learning curve than some of the other teams in the conference, but it will help us in the long run.”
Emily Edwards tossed in double digit scoring with 15 points. Whitley True and Webb tossed in a pair of three-pointers in the loss. Harness hauled in seven rebounds, while Hayes had six rebounds.
UCHS opened up the week on Monday, Dec. 10, by defeating Cloudland High School 52-42 in the Devils’ Den.
The Lady Devils finished up the three game week on Saturday, Dec. 16, by knocking off the Chuckey-Doak Lady Black Knights, 67-55, in non-conference action in Afton.
Coach King’s team played against Sullivan South on Monday, Dec. 17, on the road after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
The Lady Devils will be out of action for the rest of the week, and will be back after Christmas participating in the Johnson City Honda Trailblazer Classic held at Daniel Boone High School.
The Lady Devil junior varsity went 2-1 throughout the week. The team defeated Cloudland on Monday, then fell in a junior varsity contest Friday against Elizabethton. The Lady Devils finished out the week with a one-point victory on the road against Chuckey-Doak.

By Curtis Carden
Sports Writer
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