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Lady Devils get first win

Senior Lady Devils Haley Webb and Chelsey Harness had the Lady Devil offense moving in the right direction against David Crockett.
The duo combined for 32 points for the Unicoi County High School Lady Devil basketball team (1-3) during its 58-45 win over the Lady Pioneers on Friday, Nov. 21, in Erwin.
Crockett used full-court pressure to take control of the game early, with Lady Devil junior point guard Hannah Rice on the bench in foul trouble. The Lady Pioneers held a 13-3 lead after the first five minutes of play.
“I thought we handled the full court pressure without Hannah,” head coach Kerri King said of her team. “Especially when we got down, points wise, early. That’s a huge moral victory for us. We’ve played three tough teams, I don’t think we’ve played terrible, but I thought tonight they turned a corner and woke up a bit and just refused to let the game go.
“I thought Haley, Emily (Lynch) and Harness did an excellent job handling the pressure. That’s big for us. That’s something I hoped they could do and they followed through with it.”
The Lady Devils ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit within two points, 13-11.
With a little over three minutes remaining in the half, the Lady Devils capitalized on a 14-2 run that propelled the team to a 30-21 halftime advantage.
Webb, who scored a game-high 17 points, stayed hot from behind the arc with four three-pointers in the period.
“They keyed in on our drivers, Hannah and Chelsey,” Webb said. “That helped to open me up on the three-point line.”
Harness was able to get things rolling in the third period with six of her 15 points coming from inside the paint. She also had seven rebounds.
The Lady Devils held a 48-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to come out strong after our loss Thursday,” Harness said. “That’s what we set out to do. I think we handled the pressure pretty good tonight. Without Hannah, it was difficult handling the ball, but I thought we did a good job getting it down the floor.”
Strength was shown down low by the Lady Devils, with senior Destinie Hayes tallying in a game-high 19 boards with 12 coming on the defensive end.
The early games against Science Hill and Cocke County helped prepare the Lady Devils physically and mentally, King said.
“Those teams are bigger than us and quicker than us,” she added. “So we had to play fewer people and have a shallow bench. We tried both the Padgetts (Ashlie and Halie) and Ashley Edwards and I thought they did will. They were reacting to the pressure, but not attacking the pressure. But they are young they will get more comfortable with that.”
Lynch stayed active during the contest with eight points, including 4-4 from the free throw line, and helped in the paint with eight boards. Rice made her way back in the second half and joined her senior counterpart with eight points on the night.
Lady Devil Morgan Lee Brown helped spearhead the first quarter with a three-pointer and finished with six points, both from behind the arc. Hayes and Halie Padgett finished with two points each.
Rebounding from their 66-56 loss to Madison County earlier in the week, the team has some momentum going forward with tournament play awaiting this week in Oliver Springs.
“We needed to get into a little groove,” King said. “There are some good teams down there and I feel like this turned us into how I thought our start could have been for us.”
The Lady Pioneers were led by a collective effort of four players going for seven points each: Chelsea Day, Kelsey Persinger, Madison Grindstaff and Chelsea Lyninger.