Happy Valley splits at Unicoi

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019

ERWIN – The Happy Valley boys’ basketball team snapped a 13-game skid against rival Unicoi County Friday with a 45-41 decision.

The Warriors also won for the first time this season in Three Rivers Conference play and snapped a 22-game conference slide that dated back to 2016-17 season.

“That was the last thing we talked about before the game, we wrote 2017 on the board and we told them that was the last time we won a regular season conference game,” Happy Valley head coach Jeremy Maddox said. “I’m proud of them. We made it a little more difficult than it needed to be. Unicoi County had a lot to do with that. We didn’t take care of it like we wanted to, but ugly wins are good wins.”

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Bryce Carter did his part with a game-best 21 points. He scored 18 of the team’s 21 points in the second and third quarters including all 13 in the second.

Despite enjoying the lead most of the contest, Happy Valley had to hold on down the stretch. The Warriors went 6-for-8 at the line in the last two minutes to keep the advantage. James Harmon was 3-for-4 in the stretch en route to eight points.

Unicoi County got 11 points from Brett Lingerfelt while Brock Thompson and Gavin Casey each scored seven.

Unicoi County 41, Happy Valley 31 (Girls)

An opportunity to gain a Three Rivers advantage went to Unicoi County. With a four-way tie for second, the Lady Blue Devils did enough to move in front and take the win over Happy Valley.

Unicoi County improved to 4-3 in the league while Happy Valley and Tuesday’s opponent Sullivan South are tied for fourth at 3-4. Sullivan East was idle Friday to keep a 3-3 conference record. The top two teams in the regular season earn byes into the District 1-AA semifinals which secures a Region 1-AA bid as well.

The Lady Blue Devils owned a 23-13 advantage in the third quarter, but Happy Valley chopped the margin down to just three. However, Unicoi County did enough and built the lead back to secure the outcome.

“We got there within three, but just dug ourselves a hole and it was a bad offensive night. We missed layup after layup,” said Happy Valley head coach Thomas Gouge.

The bad offensive night was almost half of what Happy Valley scored in the first meeting this year. The Lady Warriors lost 58-52 when the teams met in November.

Adrienne Henegar scored just three points while Shalyn Whitson paced the Lady Warriors with 15.

The Lady Blue Devils’ Tenly Holt had seven points in the fourth quarter to finish with 13 for the game. Allee Griffith added nine more points with seven from both Chloe Powers and Caroline Podvin.