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Off the Field – Scott will be missed (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)

I remember waking every day before school, turning on ESPN’s SportsCenter to catch everything that happened around the sports world.
I had four favorite sportscasters – Stuart Scott, Rich Eisen, Dan Patrick and Kenny Mayne. You couldn’t ask for any better national sports figures.
And on Sunday, Jan. 4, the world lost one of the best with Scott passing away after a long battle with cancer.
I never knew Scott personally, but for any avid viewers of SportsCenter you felt like you did.
All the catchy word play and the reporting – you could tell he was a man that loved his job and loved his audience.
It is a sharp blow in the gut for sports fans across the world. We practically grew up with Scott while he grew up in front of our eyes. From a role model behind the desk, to a role model with his battle with cancer. He never batted an eye and he tackled the adversity like an NFL middle linebacker.
You’ll be missed by the fans, Mr. Scott. Thanks for all the memories.
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The joys of holiday tournaments.
Titles are always dandy, but coaches at the Johnson City Honda Trailblazer Classic were all in agreement that tournament play heading into the second half of the season is important for the development of every team, no matter the outcome.
The tournaments help develop a win-or-go-home mentality, the ability to perform in pressure situations and give you a little sneak peek of what teams need to do to pull away with the gold when postseason time rolls around.
Unicoi County High School saw both sides of the spectrum in tournament play with the girls in the Honda Classic while the boys played in Knoxville.
Kerri King’s ball club secured third place honors in a pool of 11 teams after a dominant 74-54 win against Cloudland, the defending champions from 2013, at the Honda Classic.
The Lady Blue Devils were just three points away from a championship bid in the semifinals against Daniel Boone, but were able to take more than just a title experience in the four days in Gray.
The six girls in the starting rotation bring their prowess to the court, but it was the boost off the bench from freshman Halie Padgett, sophomores Neelee Griffith and Ashley Edwards and junior Ashlie Padgett to spearheaded a successful effort by the squad – including posting two 70-point games
Halie Padgett adds an extra offensive element down low to compliment Destinie Hayes, who etched her names in the history books last week by eclipsing 1,000-career rebounds.
Griffith, Ashlie Padgett and Edwards are able to add variety to a bevy of guards that see Haley Webb, Hannah Rice, Morgan Lee Brown and Chelsey Harness nearly able to touch double figures each night and help provide a rest for Emily Lynch, who serves as the utility defensive player.
It was a different time for the Blue Devils, who went winless during their stretch in the Bearden Super 16 tournament.
It was an experience in a hostile atmosphere the team needed to see if that situation arises come postseason time. It was also an experience without veteran leader Zach Thelen, who missed the final two games with an ankle injury.
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Follow me on Twitter: @CurtisCarden_ER.