GATE CITY — The Gate City boys and girls both managed to celebrate Senior Night victories.
It wasn’t as if John Battle didn’t do its darndest to ambush them both.
Michael Collier scored 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, and the Gate City boys repelled the Trojans in a 64-54 Mountain District victory.
In the opener, Morgan Gose scored 13 points and had at least a dozen rebounds to help the Lady Blue Devils hold off upset-minded Battle 39-30.
Twin sister Jordan Gose, who’d exploded for 27 in an earlier 63-38 dismantling of the Lady Trojans at Bristol, was held to five by the scrappy Battle defensive effort. She scored all of her points from the free throw line in the critical fourth quarter, however.
The Lady Blue Devils (17-1, 6-0) didn’t finally pull away for good until after Lauren Carter’s 3-pointer with 4:36 remaining in the game gave Gate City a five-point margin.
Gate City collectively shot 10-for-12 from the line over the final three minutes and got big possession-ending defensive plays from Jordan Houseright, Kaely Gose and Jordan Gose.
Chloe Harris scored nine points to pace Battle (13-4, 4-3). Brooke Rutherford, Morgan Gose’s primary defensive antagonist during the first half, finished with eight.
In the boys’ game, Dylan Jenkins scored 11 of his 15 game-total points in the second half for Gate City (12-4, 6-0). John Reed Barnes added 14 points.
Caleb Herron made a defensive nuisance of himself again, finishing with five steals and multiple disrupted Battle pass attempts. Cody Mays had five steals.
Wesley Blaylock scored 19 points for the Trojans (4-16, 1-5), who trailed 15-12 when Collier’s three-point play initiated an 8-2 run to intermission. That gave the Blue Devils a degree of separation they tentatively maintained until Jenkins finally got into an offensive flow in the fourth frame.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our electronic edition.