KINGSPORT — With seven games to go in the regular season, Unicoi County boys basketball coach John English expects his team to be focused and locked in.
The Blue Devils showed that focus Tuesday with a 67-51 Three Rivers Conference win over Sullivan North.
The teams battled almost even for the first period and Unicoi County came out with a 11-10 advantage.
From there, however, the momentum swung fully to the Blue Devils’ side. Unicoi opened the second period with an 18-8 run and closed out the half with a 36-24 advantage.
Unicoi County (17-4, 5-1) had four different players in double figures. Nic Chambers led the way with 14 points. Connor Simpson added 13, Keith Arrowood 11 and Ethan Rice 10.
The bright spot for North (4-13, 1-6) may have been the return of Grayson Ball. Ball, who is recovering from a knee injury, scored a game-high 15 points. Ten of those came during the third period.
“Grayson probably shouldn’t have played, but he was so anxious to get back on the floor,” said North coach Jay Gregory. “I knew when we lost him we would lose scoring and rebounds, but didn’t realize how much of a difference he makes being on the floor. We just play better with him.”
Gage Ball followed up with 12 points for North.
The young Lady Raiders continue to improve but fell to the Lady Blue Devils 77-30.
Shania Leonard and Shenoah Bradley led North (3-12, 0-7) with nine points each.
Unicoi’s Hannah Rice topped all scorers with 19 points for Unicoi County (10-10, 5-2).
For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our electronic edition.