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Lady Devils survive Johnson County, fall to Science Hill

Above, Kaitlin Bailey jumps over a defender to pass to a teammate at Science Hill. (Photo contributed by Teresa Parkey)

From Staff Reports

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.

The Unicoi County High School girls basketball team (7-4, 2-1) held off a pesky Johnson County Longhorn squad to earn an important Three Rivers Conference victory in Mountain City on Friday, Dec. 15.

“We did what we had to do to win,” Lady Devil head coach Kerri King said.

Each time it appeared the Lady Devils were going to run away with the game the Lady Longhorns went on a run to keep the game close. In the first quarter, for example, UCHS held a 9-2 lead and appeared to be in control of the game. Johnson County then closed the quarter on a 7-4 run to trail, 13-9, going into the second quarter.

The teams played even basketball in the second frame and the Lady Devils led 28-24 at halftime.

It was a run at the end of the third quarter that gave the Lady Devils the cushion they needed to get the 53-46 victory. With the game tied at 33-33 with less than 4 minutes to play in the quarter, the Lady Devils played one of their best stretches of the game, outscoring Johnson County 10-3, including baskets by Ashtan Vance, Chloe Powers and Halie Padgett.

A bright spot for the Lady Devils in the game was rebounding. The team grabbed 10 offensive rebounds and 25 defensive rebounds in the contest.

“We had a good effort on the boards,” King said. “We have made that an emphasis for the girls and they have responded to that in recent games.”

Padgett led the Lady Devils in scoring with 18 points. She also had 7 rebounds. Kaitlin Bailey scored 9 and had 8 rebounds. Kenedy King scored 8 with 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists. Powers scored 7 and had 7 rebounds. Vance scored 7. Kaylee Hendrickson scored 4 with 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

• • •

A poor third quarter doomed the Lady Devils against the Science Hill Lady Hilltoppers in Johnson City on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The Lady Devils played a solid first quarter, leading 9-7 going into the second. Then they went on a run to take a 26-19 lead at halftime and appeared to be in control of the game.

Turnovers and missed shots kept UCHS off the scoreboard for much of the quarter as the team scored only 2 points, which came in the last minute. Despite that, the ladies trailed by only 3 point, 31-28, going into the final quarter.

The Lady Hilltoppers would not allow UCHS to get back into the game as they outscored the Lady Devils 19-10 in the final 8 minutes to win 50-38.

King and Bailey paced the Lady Devils with 10 points each. Bailey also had 6 rebounds. Padgett scored 9 and had 8 rebounds. Hendrickson scored 5. Vance scored 4 and had 5 rebounds.

• • •

The Lady Devils traveled to Cloudland for a non-conference game on Tuesday, Dec. 19, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue. They will not play again until after Christmas when they travel to Cleveland, Tennessee, to play in a holiday tournament.