Happy Valley falls to Unicoi in district opener

Published 10:08 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019


ELIZABETHTON – Happy Valley had the home court advantage, but Unicoi County made Bayless Gym feel like a second home Wednesday in the opening round of the District 1-AA Boys’ Basketball Tournament.

The Blue Devils more than doubled their score in the fourth behind a 49-41 win over Happy Valley.

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The victory advanced the Blue Devils to Friday’s contest with Sullivan East also to be played at Happy Valley. The other boys’ contest scheduled is between Sullivan South and Sullivan Central. The two winners move onto Saturday’s semifinals to play either Elizabethton or Johnson County.

Unicoi County also kept control in Carter County. The Blue Devils have won 15 straight contests over the Warriors at Bayless Gym. Unicoi County improved to 7-21 before another elimination contest. The Warriors’ season closed at 7-19 with Jeremy Maddox at the helm for his first season as head coach.

“It probably wasn’t the prettiest game to watch,” said Maddox. “I thought this was going to be a slugfest and it was right up to the end. I thought Brock (Thompson) carried them at the end and made some shots. We just couldn’t answer. We got some really good looks at the basket, but just couldn’t convert.”

The Blue Devils used eight straight points from Thompson in the fourth quarter to seize control. He gave Unicoi County the lead before back-to-back 3-pointers made the score 34-27 with 4:02 left. Gavin Casey laid in two more points before Thompson stole the ball that resulted in another lay up a minute later. Those scores ballooned the margin to 38-27.

Thompson scored 15 of his game-best 20 points in the fourth quarter. Gavin Casey added five of his eight points in the final quarter as well. Austin O’Dell just missed double-digits at nine points.

The opening quarter saw Unicoi County enjoy a 9-5. However, the Warriors scored the final four points before the buzzer. Bryce Carter and Noah Stevens were the two scorers to force the tie for the Warriors.

Carter led the Warriors with 16 to close out his senior season. Noah Stevens poured in 10 more for the Warriors.

The second quarter saw the teams trying to score as it took over three minutes for the first bucket to fall. Unicoi County once again led and owned a slim 17-15 halftime advantage.

Carter helped the Warriors to a 24-24 tie after three quarters with five points in the frame.

Unicoi County 49, Happy Valley 41


Thompson 20, A. O’Dell 9, Casey 8, Lingerfelt 5, Lowery 4, Adkins 2, R. O’Dell 1


Carter 16, Stevens 10, Cochran 4, Young 4, Willis 3, Tittle 2, Harmon 2

Unicoi County 9 8 7 25

Happy Valley 9 6 9 17

3 Point Field Goals – Unicoi County 3 (Thompson 2, Lingerfelt), Happy Valley 3 (Stevens 2, Willis)