The Happy Valley boys’ basketball team wasn’t going to be denied on Friday night.
The Warriors picked up a 45-41 road victory over Unicoi County in Three Rivers Conference action in Erwin. In the varsity opener, the Lady Warriors were unable to rally past the Lady Blue Devils in a 41-31 loss.
In the boys’ game, the Warriors jumped out early.
Happy Valley saw four players score in the opening quarter while the defense clamped down on the Blue Devils to take a 12-4 lead into the second quarter. Senior Bryce Carter took over for the Warriors in the second stand as he accounted for all 13 HV points. That allowed the Warriors to hold a 25-18 advantage at the half.
The homesteading Blue Devils chipped away at the lead in the third quarter by outscoring HV 13-8. The Warriors, however, hit timely free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Carter finished with 21 points. Noah Stevens and James Harmon had nine and eight points, respectively.
For the Lady Warriors, it was an uphill battle from the start.
Happy Valley was unable to get things rolling offensively as UC held them to five points in the first eight minutes. That allowed UC to take a 12-5 lead into the second quarter.
Points were a premium in the second quarter as well as Shalyn Whitson had four points in the period and Adrienne Henegar hit a big 3-pointer to keep HV within striking distance as the Lady Warriors trailed 21-13 at the break.
Happy Valley, however, didn’t go down without a fight.
The Lady Warriors trimmed the Unicoi lead to three points in the third quarter by holding Erwin to just five points in the frame. The Lady Blue Devils, however, were able to push the lead back out late in the fourth quarter to take the win.
Whitson finished with 15 points to lead HV, while Ball added five points.