Highlanders drop one to Blue Devils

Published 11:12 pm Thursday, February 11, 2016

Despite a late rally, the Highlanders could not over come Unicoi, losing 54-47 Thursday night inside Unicoi High School.

In the first quarter, Unicoi jumped out to a 6-point lead before Highlander Chris Wagoner scored a lay-up for Cloudland. Unicoi’s Jacob Smith made the first two buckets. Cloudland freshman Josh Blair came off the bench and scored a quick bucket. The low scoring first quarter ended with Unicoi in the lead, 8-4.

Unicoi outscored Cloudland in the second half by 12 points, with Trevor Hensley scoring nine, including a trey with two seconds left on the clock before the half. For the Highlanders, Wagoner hit another lay-up, and Blair sank a fifteen foot jumper. Noah Arnett and Jason Potter came off the bench for the Highlanders and scored a bucket each. However, the Blue Devils held the lead going into the locker room, 28-12.

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Coming out in the third, Cloudland’s Jesse Potter swished the nets for a three pointer. Then teammate Colby Birchfield hit a bucket, and Vines had a bucket plus a foul shot. Unicoi’s Clay Simpson was good for two, and Smith had five. Cloudland went on a surge halfway through the fourth sparked by a Vine’s score. Birchfield then scored an acrobatic shot, another deuce, and a trey. Preston Benfield had a steal and a layup to end the quarter.

The fourth quarter opened with Vines sinking two free throws, and Benfield sinking a trey from downtown to cut Unicoi’s lead to one. The Blue Devil’s Dylan Putman then scored, followed by Smith and Simpson. Freshman Malachi Benfield had a steal for the Highlanders, and Jason Potter had a rebound and put back to bring the score to 49-46, Unicoi.

Cloudland – 47

Arnett-4’ Birchfield-12; Mull-1; Blair-4; Benfield-6; Wagoner-4; Je. Potter-4; Vines-8; Js. Potter-4

Unicoi – 54

Spears-6; Putman-8; Gillis-2; Hensley-11; Simpson-14; Smith-13