Gate City's girls and boys sweep Central, earn top seeds in upcoming Conference 40 tourney

Pat Kenney • Feb 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM

NORTON — Gate City’s girls and boys basketball teams took care of business on the road Monday night.

Both the Lady Blue Devils and Blue Devils were in first place in the Clinch Mountain Conference 40 rankings, but needed wins over Wise Central to ensure the No. 1 seeds in this week’s postseason tournament.

Also at stake was a bye into the semifinals and the opportunity to host the tournament’s semifinals and finals.

In a foul-marred affair, the Gate City girls rallied in the second half to upend the Lady Warriors 58-54.

The Blue Devils boys, behind 22 points from Dylan Jenkins, cruised past the Warriors 71-53.

In a contest that had 47 fouls called and 62 free throws attempted, it was the Lady Blue Devils’ Megan Edwards who proved worthy of the test. Scoring all of her 14 points from the charity stripe, Edwards made 5 of 6 foul shots over the final seven minutes of the contest to preserve the Lady Blue Devils win.

After leading by as many as 13 points in the first half, Gate City (18-2, 8-0) found itself trailing 50-47 with 7:27 left in the game. But the Lady Blue Devils hit nine free throws in the fourth quarter to get the No. 1 seed in the Conference 40 tournament.

“The girls could have easily said we can’t overcome all the adversity,” said Gate City coach Kelly Houseright. “But they kept their composure and made the plays we needed to win.”

Morgan Gose added 14 points for the Lady Blue Devils with Rachel Kilgore scrambling for 10 rebounds from her guard position.

Logan Reynolds led Central (18-4, 6-2) with a game-high 25 points. Sophie Mullins added 10.

In the boys' contest, Jenkins’ total gave him 1,006 points for his career at Gate City.

“We knew that Wise Central would play us hard,” said Gate City coach Scott Vermillion. “Once we stretched out the lead, Wise had to change their defense and that worked to our advantage. This was a hard-fought win.”

John Reed Barnes had 13 points for the Blue Devils with Michael Collier adding 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Caleb Mills, who had gone over the 1,000-point career mark last Saturday against John Battle, led Central with 20 points. Kaine Laney chipped in 10 points for the Warriors.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Tuesday's print edition or our electronic edition.

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