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Off the Field – Right pieces in place (Dec. 10, 2014 issue)

The Unicoi County High School basketball teams have stayed busy with hoops season now in full swing.
The Blue Devils are over .500 so far this season, while the Lady Blue Devils aren’t exactly where the team would ideally like it to be at this point. But, I’m not entirely fooled by the current standings.
Take out the preseason projections. Eye tests and records are where real projections come.
At this point the Lady Devils were within points of taking down Class AAA Cocke County, a last second shot away from toppling a quality Oliver Springs team, and a late rally shy from downing Happy Valley. The Lady Warriors aren’t exactly a slouch, shown during their loss to Elizabethton on Friday where Happy Valley held the first period lead against the Lady Cyclones.
I’m not going to head the route of being a ‘fanboy’ or attempt to make excuses for the team. If you’re in a position to win, you need to find a way to pull it out at the end. But, if you’re going to drop close games do it early in the year.
Regular seasons are only used for district seeding and some excitement from time to time. Watching a team that is undermanned and doesn’t have much height scrap with some top-tier talent this early in the season only shows it is a team primed to take a step in the right direction as the season progresses. The Lady Devils have too many sharp shooters and scrappy defensive players to get down on themselves this early in the year.
No team is unbeatable. Elizabethton has shown chinks in the armor against Greeneville and Happy Valley.
It is not a knock against the defending state champions, but it is basketball. Any given night a team can win with the right pieces in place.
The Lady Devils have the right pieces in place. A rough start isn’t fun, but it doesn’t need to be a nail in the coffin – and it won’t.
It will be a fun season down the stretch before postseason time rolls around for both the Lady Devils and Blue Devils. Be on the lookout Blue Nation, your guys and gals will be making some noise.
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The King University men’s basketball team kept their season going in a positive way by scoring a 78-73 win against Limestone on the road Saturday Dec. 6.
King (5-1) was led by four going into double figures, including UCHS scoring record holder Logan Lyle. Lyle dropped 14 points in the victory, 12 off three-pointers.
The Tornadoes were back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 9, after The Erwin Record’s print deadline against Tusculum College.
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Blue Nation made their case on Tuesday, Dec. 2, with a packed student section during Three Rivers Conference action against Happy Valley.
It might seem small in the schemes of things, but all the participation showed school spirit and injected life into the contests.
In a dwindling time of support for local athletics, excitement is key and the Blue Nation did their part by sporting the blue and white and supported their Blue Devils during their first conference victory of the year.
The Devils Den is highly regarded as one of the most dreaded areas in northeast Tennessee to play basketball by local coaches. Loud noises, chants, or just randomly yelling – keep it going.
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The second meet of the year for the UCHS swimmers is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11, at Carson-Newman. The start time is tentatively scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
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We’re under a month away before 2015. Each year, The Erwin Record takes a look back at the top-10 moments from the past year. Do you have a special moment that you feel should make the list? If so, email the sports department at [email protected]
The top moments will tallied up and featured in the last issue of The Erwin Record this year.
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The Erwin Record features a gallery of thousands of photos taken throughout the years by our award-winning photography staff. To view or purchase a variety of pictures, readers can visit our online store at erwinrecordpix.com.
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Follow me on Twitter: @CurtisCarden_ER.