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Late rally lifts Devils over Cloudland Highlanders

Experience is the key to success, and the Devils relied on the experience from two veterans to pull out a win last week.
Unicoi County (9-3) traveled to Roan Mountain, Tn. on Monday, Dec. 12 to face the Cloudland Highlanders in their only game of the week and came away with a 71-63 victory .
Highlander coach Brandon Carpenter made sure the Devils worked for the win.
“It was a tough game for our guys out there,” coach John English said. “The guys rallied late and pulled out the win. We still have some stuff to work on with our off week coming up.”
In a game that went back and forth during the night, Trevor Shelton controlled the first quarter, by scoring nine of Unicoi’s 17 points in the opening quarter of play.
“Trevor was clutch during the night,” forward Austin Hensley said after the game.
Being clutch was the key for Unicoi with the Highlanders rallying from an early deficit from the opening half, to take a 55-54 lead with less than six minutes remaining.
Then it was time for the varsity vets from last year to shine.
“Austin and Trevor really came through for us at the end of the game,” English said. “They’re used to being in these situations and it paid off for us toward the end of the game.
“I thought Davey’s (Edwards) three-pointer was also big during that stretch. They did a good job of keeping him contained during the night and him coming off the bench and hitting that shot really helped.”
The run coach English spoke about occurred when Unicoi rallied behind the play of Shelton and Hensley, whose combined efforts allowed the Devils to pull away with the 71-63 victory.
“Seeing Logan (Lyle) do it last year helped us,” Shelton said when discussing the Devils play at the end of the game. “We knew we had to take control late and being in those types of games last year really helped.”
Shelton finished the game leading all scorers with 25 points.
“We knew we had to come out ready to play and knew what we had to do,” Hensley explained. “It was a great team effort.”
Hensley finished with 21 points.
Cloudland rode the momentum from the rallies just before halftime and during the third quarter to take the lead late in the fourth.
“They didn’t really do anything different,” English explained. “They turned up the heat on us and were able to rally, but our guys did a good job of getting settled down and played the way they needed to.”
Ethan Rice finished with 10 points, including two three-pointers.
The Devils will have a two-game stint during the week before Christmas, including a trip to Afton, Tn. on Monday after The Erwin Record’s press deadline to face Chuckey-Doak. The Devils will end the two-game stand with a trip to Stoney Creek on Tuesday, Dec. 20, to face the Unaka Rangers.
Tip-off for both games is scheduled for 8 p.m.