GATE CITY — In the space of six minutes during Wednesday’s Region D, Division 2 boys quarterfinal at Gate City, the Blue Devils turned a close contest into a rout.
With the score 16-12 in favor of Gate City, the Blue Devils went on a decisive 22-0 run that propelled them to a 79-47 win over visiting Lee High.
Next up for Gate City (21-5) is a meeting with Union (18-7) at 6 p.m. on Friday in the regional semifinals at Castlewood.
The Bears advanced with a 47-39 win over John Battle.
The Generals (7-18) jumped on top 4-0 and held their last lead at 8-7 with 3:41 to go in the first quarter.
When the first period concluded, Gate City had forged ahead 13-10.
Michael Collier drained a 3-pointer to open the second period for the Blue Devils, making the advantage 16-10.
Dylan Hounshell answered for Lee, hitting a bucket with 7:31 to go in half.
Then the bottom dropped out for the Generals.
Gate City started its phenomenal run at the 6:40 mark of the period when Luke Ervin scored a basket. Seconds later, he came right back down the court and launched a guided missile from beyond the arc that scorched the net and suddenly put the Devils up nine, 21-12.
Dylan Jenkins was a one-man wrecking crew in the second quarter for Gate City. He scored 14 points including two treys.
“My teammates kept getting me the ball,” said Jenkins. “I think during that stretch our defensive energy was good and we played very unselfishly.”
By the time the onslaught subsided, Gate City had extended its lead to 38-12 and Lee was facing an almost insurmountable deficit.
Dylan Hounshell broke the Lee drought with a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the half, but the Generals went to the locker room down 41-15.
“We didn’t take care of business in the second quarter,” said Lee coach Brady Yeary. “I think we got rattled a little.
“We lost to a good team tonight,” added Yeary. “We’ve come a long way this year, but we still have a long way to go.”
Lee came out in the third quarter and played even with the Blue Devils, but in the fourth quarter, Gate City went on an 18-5 run and held its largest lead of the game at 79-40.
“In the second quarter our pressure got to them,” said Gate City coach Scott Vermillion. “Maybe they lost their legs a little.
“We looked pretty good during that run, but we still have to sharpen a few things up,” added Vermillion. “We still haven’t put it together for a whole game.”
Jenkins led Gate City with 19 points while Andy Arnold added 14 and Ervin 10.
Cody Mays had nine points and J.R. Barnes seven off the bench for the Blue Devils. All told, the Gate City reserves tallied 25 points in the contest.
Hounshell had a game-high 20 points to lead Lee.