From Staff Reports
The Unicoi County High School girls basketball team (12-7, 4-2) got its second win of the season over Hampton’s Lady Bulldogs in Carter County on Monday, Jan. 15.
The Lady Devils earned the 50-42 road victory thanks to a swarming defensive effort and 6 three-pointers from guard Chloe Powers.
“I feel like everybody contributed tonight,” Lady Devil head coach Kerri King said after the win. “We struggled against a zone defense during our last game, but tonight our guards were shooting free and doing a good job from the outside. We were changing defenses a lot and I think because we were concerned about what we were doing defensively the girls were able to play freely on the offensive end.”
The Lady Devils led 10-7 after the first quarter and 25-16 at the break. UCHS went on a significant run in the third quarter, leading 41-24, before the Lady Bulldogs started fighting their way back into the game. Sparking Hampton’s comeback was Shyane Tuelle, who scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half. Despite the Lady Bulldogs’ efforts, the Lady Devils held on to get the win.
Powers scored 18 points in the win. Halie Padgett had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Kaylee Hendrickson scored 9, including 2 three-pointers. Ashtan Vance, Allee Griffith and Kaitlin Bailey (6 rebounds) scored 4 points each. Rachel Lynch scored 1.
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By far their worst shooting night of the season doomed the Lady Devils against Three Rivers Conference foe Sullivan Central on Friday, Jan. 12.
The team made only 10-37 shots (27 percent) from 2-point range, 2-16 shots (12 percent) from 3-point range and hit only 8-14 free throws (57 percent).
“For whatever reason, we were not ready for that game,” King said of the loss to the Lady Cougars. “I don’t know if the game was too big for them or if we hadn’t faced a zone in awhile … We struggled inside and that froze us up outside. Then, when we did get good looks inside we didn’t convert them. Defensively we played fine, but we didn’t have an answer offensively.”
UCHS trailed by only 5 points, 23-18, with less than 3 minutes to play in the first half on Friday. Central then closed the half on a 4-0 run to lead 27-18.
The Lady Devils’ offensive struggles continued in the second half, which allowed the Lady Cougars to build an insurmountable lead. Central won the game, 55-34.
Padgett scored 8 and had 12 rebounds. Bailey scored 5 and had 6 rebounds. Hendrickson scored 5 and had 3 assists. Vance scored 4. Powers and Tenley Holt scored 3 points each. Kaylia Street, Lynch and Griffith scored 2 points each.
With the victory, Central took over the top spot in the league with their 4-1 record. The Lady Devils joined Sullivan East and Sullivan South on the list of teams with two conference losses. Happy Valley, Johnson County and Elizabethton have three losses each.
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The Lady Devils used full-court pressure to earn a 54-38 conference win over Elizabethton in Carter County on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
“We did a good job of applying pressure on the defensive end,” King said. “Because we pressed and forced turnovers we had more looks than they did and we capitalized on them.”
UCHS jumped out to a 9-2 lead before the Lady Cyclones settled down and made some adjustments. The Lady Devils led 15-11 after the first quarter. UCHS led 21-14 with 4 minutes to play in the second quarter, before going on a 9-0 run to lead 30-14 at halftime.
The teams played even basketball in the second half as the Lady Devils held on for the victory.
Padgett scored 22 points with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Powers scored 13. Bailey scored 12 and had 6 rebounds. Hendrickson scored 4. Vance scored 3.
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The Lady Devils are scheduled to travel to Happy Valley to face the Warriors on Friday, Jan. 19, and host Sullivan South on Tuesday, Jan. 23, in Three Rivers Conference action. Lady Devil junior varsity games are scheduled for 3:30 p.m., with the varsity games set for 6:30 p.m.