From Staff Reports
The 2017-18 season has come to an end for the Unicoi County High School girls basketball team.
The Lady Devils posted a 20-10 overall record, took second place in the District 1-AA tournament and hosted a Region 1-AA tournament game before being eliminated from postseason play by a 75-59 loss to Greeneville on Friday, Feb. 23, at the Devils’ Den in Erwin.
“Of course we are disappointed for the season to end like it did,” Lady Devil head coach Kerri King said. “The girls wanted to advance and so did I. But, looking back on the season as a whole, I have to say that I am very proud of how the girls came together, worked hard and grew as a basketball team.”
A close game in the opening minutes turned in favor of the Lady Greene Devils in the second part of the first quarter on Friday. Sparked by 8 points from Sydni Lollar, Greeneville went on a run to take a 23-13 lead going into the second quarter.
The Lady Devils kept fighting in the second frame as a balanced offensive attack helped them narrow the deficit to six points, 37-31, at the break despite missing 8 free throws in the first half. Allee Griffith scored 5 points, Chloe Powers and Ashtan Vance each scored 4, Tenley Holt scored 3 and Halie Padgett scored 4 during the Lady Devils’ run.
“We got down 23-13, but the girls fought their way back into the game by halftime,” King said. “They have been scrappy like that, especially during the latter part of the season.”
The teams played almost even basketball in the third quarter and Greeneville went into the final eight minutes with a 50-42 lead.
The fourth quarter belonged to Lollar. Having already scored 25 points, the senior guard scored 16 in the final quarter to give her team the win as the Lady Devils couldn’t keep up the pace. Lollar scored 41 points in the game.
“She’s a very good player,” King said of Lollar. “I think we let her have so much success early in the game that we couldn’t contain her when we had to.”
Padgett led the Lady Devils with 24 points and 6 rebounds in the loss. Powers scored 11 and had 4 rebounds. Griffith scored 8 and had 4 rebounds. Vance had 7 points and 4 rebounds. Holt scored 6 and had 4 rebounds. Hendrickson scored 2 and had 4 assists.
The loss was the last game as Lady Devils for seniors Halie Padgett, Kenedy King and Rachel Lynch.
“Those three seniors are very special players and people,” King said. “They have been dedicated to their team since they were freshmen and they have worked very hard. I am proud to have coached them and I know they will be successful in whatever they do in the future.”
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Greeneville defeated South Greene and Chuckey-Doak defeated Sullivan Central in the region semifinals on Monday, Feb. 26. Greeneville and Chuckey-Doak will play in the region title game on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at Chuckey-Doak. Both teams will play in a substate game on Saturday, March 3.