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Unicoi fends off Happy Valley; Lady Devils win at final horn

Gene Renfro • Jan 21, 2020 at 10:35 PM

ERWIN—Unicoi County continued its recent winning ways on Tuesday night inside Devils Den.

In Three Rivers Conference basketball activity, the Blue Devils led by as many as 13 points before holding on for a 55-49 victory over Happy Valley. Earlier in the evening, a last-second shot gave the Lady Blue Devils a 40-39 win.

The boys contest saw Unicoi County (13-10, 4-3) build a 32-19 halftime lead, only to see the Warriors chop away in the final 16 minutes. Eventually the margin was down to within five down the stretch, but free throws and Brock Thompson iced the game.

Thompson was held scoreless in the first half, but in the second half poured in 11 points. The junior went 7 of 11 at the line, accounting for six makes in the final quarter. Overall, the Blue Devils were 9 of 15 at the free-throw line in the final quarter and 13 for 20 for the game.

The Warriors’ comeback can be partially credited to Dylan Willis. He had a game-best 18 points as 16 were in the second half — including 11 in the final quarter. Happy Valley (4-14, 1-6) also got 10 points from Luke Roberts.

Freshman Lucas Slagle paced Unicoi County with 15 points with Robbie O’Dell shooting to 14 with four makes behind the arc.

The Blue Devils take a five-game winning streak to Sullivan South for a Friday meeting. Happy Valley returns to Warrior Hill for a contest against Johnson County.

Unicoi County 40, Happy Valley 39 (Girls)

Leah Edney picked a perfect time for her first score for the Unicoi County fans. The junior grabbed an offensive rebound and her putback at the buzzer gave the Lady Blue Devils a win.

It also marked a season sweep for Unicoi County (13-9, 3-4) over Happy Valley (13-8, 2-5).

A free-throw miss by Happy Valley came with just a few seconds left. Tenley Holt grabbed the rebound and raced to the opposite end. Her shot went astray, but Edney had the rebound and game-winning bucket. Holt had the game-winning score in December when the teams met, also off a missed free throw.

Unicoi County had jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a quarter, but trailed at halftime 20-15. Happy Valley did not score during the game’s first 11 minutes, but still had a chance for the win.

Ashtan Vance and Caroline Podvin both had game-bests 14 point efforts. Olivia Absher paced the Lady Warriors with 10, all in the second half as she went 8 of 14 at the charity stripe.

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