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Lady Falcons handle Lady Devils; Gate City boys roll

By JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • Jan 9, 2019 at 1:34 AM

ABINGDON — In the brutally tough world that is Mountain 7 District girls basketball, Gate City coach Kelly Houseright knows that her contending team is likely to lose a few games within the seven-team league.

What the veteran leader can’t swallow is being outfought, which she feels was the case Tuesday in Abingdon’s methodical 57-44 win over her Lady Blue Devils.

“I just felt like we were going through the motions until midway through the fourth quarter, and by then it was a little late,” Houseright said. “We were just jogging up and down the floor, and that’s not us at all.

“If you don’t show up to play night in, night out in this district, this happens. We were not ready to play this bunch tonight, obviously.”

Abingdon (8-5, 3-1) controlled the game from the start and led Gate City (9-3, 3-2) by as many as 18 points in the fourth period.

Peyton Carter, a 5-foot-8 combo-guard, finished with 24 points for the Lady Falcons. Emily Breeding scored 13.

“I thought we kind of came out early and set the tone,” said Abingdon coach Jimmy Brown. “We knew that Gate City likes to pressure, so we attacked and got a few easy ones that got us going. And defensively tonight I thought we did a particularly great job.”

Houseright, who received 17 points apiece from Jaden Fullen and Sarah Thompson, said there is no time for the Lady Blue Devils to wallow in self-pity.

“There’s still plenty of basketball to play,” the coach said. “But we don’t have a lot of turnaround time, considering we play Ridgeview on Friday and Science Hill on Saturday. So there are no sighs of relief coming up on our schedule.

“Hopefully games like this will help us row and become more consistent. If we don’t gain some consistency rather fast, we’re going to struggle.”

BLUE DEVILS BOYS ROLL

While Gate City boys coach Scott Vermillion has been working on getting his two superstars some offensive support, Zac Ervin and Bradley Dean continued their usual outstanding play in a 70-48 win.

Dean led all scorers with 25 points and Ervin poured in 22, but seven other Blue Devils (10-2. 4-0) broke into the scoring column.

“With our drill work in practice we’ve been trying to incorporate a little more screen and roll action, working on trying to score a little more off the assist than we have been,” Vermillion said. “But for the most part, those two guys have got to be those two guys. They need to be aggressive and look to score.”

The Falcons (5-7, 1-3) stayed in the game until the final eight minutes. Up 50-37 heading into the last quarter, Gate City pulled away late.

Jake Thacker scored 13, Zairn Belcher 12 and Jacob O’Quinn 10 to pace Abingdon.

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