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Middle school teams have good start

2010 began on the right note for the Unicoi County Middle School Lady Devils as both seventh and eighth grade basketball teams defeated visiting Ross Robinson Monday, Jan. 4.
Seventh grade head coach, Danielle Hensley watched as her squad ran Robinson off the court with a 51-14 win and improve their overall record to 4-6. 11 seventh-graders hit the scoring column — paced by Chelsey Harness’s 12 points.
“It was a good way to start off the New Year,” Hensley said. “Glad to get everyone playing time. We played with intensity throughout the whole game.”
Unicoi County jumped out to a quick 9-0 first quarter lead, four by Harness, and never looked back as the overmatched Robinson team was helpless to stem the Lady Devil tide as they led 18-4 after the first quarter. Poor shooting plus the Lady Devils’ tenacious defense and ball-hawking made life miserable for Robinson as they were held to just two points in the second quarter while Unicoi County took a decisive 28-6 halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the second half as the Lady Devils kept up the pressure at both ends of the court. Abbie True’s (seven points) basket just before the end of the third quarter gave Unicoi County a 39-8 lead. Unicoi County’s biggest lead was 39 points. Twice in the fourth quarter they led by that much. The second and last time was following a basket by Hannah Rice(three points) with 21 seconds remaining in the game. Laura Rogers scored six points and Taylor Smith five(one three-pointer).
Emily Lynch also scored five points while Morgan Lee Brown scored four. Devan Lamie scored three points while Cheyenne Harris, Brittnie Rice and Destinie Hayes each scored two points. Here is a summary of other seventh grade action from last week:
In eighth grade play, head coach Kerri King’s squad followed the seventh-graders’ lead as they won 52-18 to go to 11-6 overall.
“We played very well,” King said. “I was very happy with our defensive play.”
Balance was again the order of the day as nine Lady Devils, led by Whitley True’s 16 points (two three-pointers) and Cassie Foster’s 10 points, hit the scoring column.
Robinson proved to be a tough foe, especially in the first quarter as they kept pace with Unicoi County until late in the quarter when the Lady Devils’ defense and perimeter shooting left Robinson behind as the Lady Devils began to take control of the game, leading 13-9 at quarter’s end.
The second quarter was the decisive quarter for Unicoi County as they scored the first 14 points to lead 27-9 following a free-throw conversion by Brooke Strother (eight points) with just more than two minutes left in the first half. The Lady Devils’ defense squashed Robinson’s spirit with their aggressive play that forced them into several turnovers and held them to just two second-quarter points.
Smith and Strother, showing excellent court awareness, found Foster alone for consecutive baskets in the final 20 seconds of the first half to give Unicoi County a 36-11 lead.
As in the seventh grade game, the eighth-graders maintained its high intensity at both ends of the court and took Robinson completely out of their game as Robinson would score just three third-quarter points, and that was just before the buzzer as Unicoi County led 48-14 after three quarters.
The outcome never in doubt, Unicoi County coasted in the fourth quarter. Harness’s basket with under a minute left closed the Lady Devil scoring as they won 52-18. Tiffany Laughren continued her consistent play with nine points. Lynch, Brittnie Rice and Harness each scored two points while Emily Hopson scored one point.
Snow postponed Unicoi County’s scheduled home game against Science Hill last Thursday, Jan. 7. No make-up date had been announced by deadline.
At The Erwin Record’s Monday evening deadline, Unicoi County was scheduled to host T.A. Dugger.
Thursday, Jan. 14, Unicoi County travels to Kingsport to play John Sevier. The seventh grade will play at 5 p.m. The eighth grade plays at 6 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 19, the Lady Devils trek to Church Hill where the seventh-graders will play at 5:30 p.m. The eighth grade tips-off at 6:30 p.m.
In boys action, Unicoi County’s scheduled games at Ross Robinson Jan. 5, and against Science Hill Jan. 7, were both cancelled due to snow. At deadline, no rescheduling had been announced.
The Blue Devils will host John Sevier on Thursday, Jan. 14. The seventh-graders play at 4:30 p.m. The eighth-graders meet at 5:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 19, Unicoi County hosts Church Hill. Seventh grade game begins at 5:30 p.m. The eighth grade game follows at 6:30 p.m.