Tenley Holt

Unicoi County’s Tenley Holt (22) — shown here in a game earlier this season against Sullivan Central — led her team in scoring with 14 points in Wednesday's District 1-AA win over Happy Valley. (photo by Cheryl Gray)

Unicoi County had serious intentions Wednesday night, and the end result was an extension to its basketball season.

In an elimination game of the District 1-AA girls basketball tournament, the Lady Blue Devils worked their way past Happy Valley, 55-38, at Bayless Gym.

“I’m very proud of our grit,” said Unicoi head coach Kerri King. “Happy Valley is a tough out on its home floor because it is small and (the Lady Warriors) are physical.”

Unicoi improved to 14-12 on the season and will play at top-seeded Sullivan East in Friday’s semifinals at 7 p.m. The Lady Blue Devils also earned a berth in next week's region tournament.

Happy Valley, which had its season ended with a record of 10-9, won by seven points in the teams’ previous meeting in Elizabethton.

“We knew we had better game in us than what we showed over there in the regular season,” said King.

Four Unicoi players reached double figures in scoring, led by Tenley Holt’s 14 points. Allie Lingerfelt and Abigail Rush each had 12 points while Caroline Podvin totaled 10.

Olivia Absher led Happy Valley with 14 points.

“I thought Absher was doing everything she could to keep her season going,” King said. “She played really well. But we also had three seniors that wanted more games. Abba and Alli had multiple steals and deflections and we did a great job on the boards.”

In the other semifinal game Friday, Sullivan Central visits Elizabethton at 7 p.m.

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