KINGSPORT — It has been a long, strange week for the Gate City Blue Devils. The team wrapped up a four-game stretch Saturday with a 74-51 non-conference win over Sullivan North.
“It’s always good to win, but this was a strange game,” said Gate City coach Scotty Vermillion. “They had Grayson Ball out for them and we are coming off four games in five days.”
Ball, one of North’s top players, watched from the bench with an ice pack covering his knee.
The contest even started out strange. A miscommunication problem had the school scurrying to find referees and the varsity contest started just over an hour late.
The teams played almost even for the first 12 minutes. The Blue Devils led 27-22 with a little less than four minutes to go till halftime.
From there the Blue Devils took over. Gate City closed out the half on a 17-8 run for a 44-30 halftime lead.
Dylan Jenkins had the hot hand for Gate City (5-3). The senior, who is averaging 19.8 points a game, poured in a game-high 25.
“I thought we played well together tonight, especially the way we shared the ball. But we have to keep getting better,” Jenkins said.
Michael Collier followed up with 14 points for Gate City.
While Jenkins and Collier were leading the Blue Devils, North’s Trevor Williams was doing his best to keep the Golden Raiders in contention.
Williams poured in a team-high 22 points, including four long 3-pointers.
The second half was a myriad of substitutions as the Gate City lead continued to grow.
Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams. North was 7-for-15 from the line while the Blue Devils went a dismal 8-for-25.
“Fatigue may have been a factor tonight, but it looked like we didn’t take our time from the free throw line. Overall pleased with the win but not the execution,” Vermillion said.
Gate City gets a couple days rest and then hosts a non-conference game Tuesday evening with Virginia High.
Sullivan North (4-10) is back in action Monday hosting Providence Academy.