It was a battle from the beginning, but when it counted it was the Lady Warriors who came out on top.
Happy Valley claimed a 59-52 Three Rivers Conference victory over Unicoi County on Tuesday night in Erwin.
In boys’ action, the Warriors cut a 24-point third quarter deficit to 10 points, but that was as close as they could get as they fell 51-37.
After Unicoi held a 17-14 lead after a quarter of play, Kalee Johnson powered the Lady Warriors to a 27-24 advantage at the half. The Lady Blue Devils cut the gap to one-point, but Jenna Eaton and Annie Woods drained 3-pointers to send Happy Valley into the final frame with a 43-36 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, Unicoi used a 12-point run to tie the game early. However, the Lady Warriors finished 7-of-8 from the free throw line to secure the win.
Johnson powered the way with a monster night as she finished with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Eaton tossed in 15 points, while Woods finished with seven points. In all, eight Lady Warriors recorded points.
In the boys’ game, Happy Valley kept pace with Unicoi early as they trailed 11-7 at the end of one and 23-14 at the half. However, the Blue Devils outscored the Warriors 18-5 in the third quarter to race out to a 24-point lead.
Happy Valley battled back to cut the lead to 10 points with 2:53 to play. However, they were unable to carry the momentum any further.
Austin Hicks and Nathan Kyte had eight points apiece to pace Happy Valley. Josh Hammonds added seven points for the Warrior cause.
Happy Valley returns to action against Elizabethton on Friday night.
“KJ is always big. She’s sets a presence in the post and she’s active to contribute in every aspect in the game. She also does a great job of keeping everyone else involved, too.”
-Happy Valley Head Coach Larry Abel on Kalee Johnson
“What it boiled down to when we were playing better defense, that’s what brought us back into the ball game.”
-Abel on the keys to the game