KINGSPORT — It was a Texas turnaround for Gate City on Thursday night.
Trailing host Sullivan South by eight points in the second quarter, the Blue Devils put on a furious rally and pulled away for an impressive 67-57 win.
Gate City post Andy Arnold was unstoppable in the paint while the Blue Devils’ Luke Ervin owned the perimeter. The dynamic duo scored 19 points apiece to lead Gate City (19-5).
Earlier, South sophomore Brayden Hutchins drilled four 3-pointers on the way to 23 points as the Lady Rebels held off Gate City 69-58.
In the boys contest, it was all Sullivan South in the early going. Three 3-pointers by Mitchell Crowe, Michael Harr and Dalton Light and a well executed zone defense staked the Rebs to a 17-10 lead after the first quarter.
Once the Blue Devils figured out South’s defensive scheme the momentum shifted in a dramatic way. Gate City outscored South 16-10 in the second period to narrow the deficit to 27-26 at the half.
The Blue Devils found the range in the decisive third quarter and drained four treys. With a more intensive defensive effort, Gate City pulled away to take a 48-39 lead into the fourth period.
“Once they figured out our zone they began to hit some shots,” said South coach Mark Pendleton. “We had to go man-to-man and they were able to take advantage of that.”
The Lady Rebels (17-10) wasted little time exerting their dominance. Two first-quarter 3-pointers by Hutchins had South on top 13-7 going into the second period.
South built a 34-16 lead with 2:47 to go before the half. By halftime Hutchins had three treys and 14 points, leading the Lady Rebs to a 34-21 advantage at the break.
The Lady Blue Devils became more determined in the second half and narrowed the deficit to seven points on several occasions. But South always found an answer and kept Gate City from coming all the way back.
For complete coverage of the game see the Feb. 8 edition of the Times-News.