“I’m super proud of the guys,” said Cougars head coach Derek McGhee. “We didn’t shoot it well offensively, but to pull out a win is great.”
The offensive woes mentioned included just eight first-quarter points for the Cougars as the Blue Devils led by three after eight minutes. Troy Rosenbalm had half of those Cougar points, then added 10 in the second half to pace the winning side with 14.
Sullivan Central answered and owned the 20-15 halftime lead. Kaden Duncan hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter and went 6 for 6 at the free-throw line in the game for all of his points.
Brock Thompson helped the Blue Devils out to the quick start with five points in the opening quarter. He led Unicoi County with a dozen points. Brett Lingerfelt and Gavin Casey both scored 10 each for the home side.
Sullivan Central led by a dozen in the final quarter, but the Blue Devils cut the margin to four with under three minutes left. The Cougars made their free throws down the stretch to extend the lead back out. Sullivan Central was 9 for 12 at the line in the fourth quarter.
The outcome sent Sullivan Central to 4-1 in the league and 9-11 overall. The Cougars remain tied with Johnson County for second, one game behind Elizabethton.
Sullivan Central 48, Unicoi County 39
Sullivan Central raced out to a 11-4 lead after a quarter to remain perfect (5-0) in Three Rivers Conference play.
Abbey Crawford poured in a game-best 16 points while Central teammate Peyton Sams scored in every quarter en route to 10 points.
The Lady Cougars have a 12-9 overall record while Unicoi County went to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in the league.
The Lady Blue Devils had a trio of 10-point scorers in Chloe Powers, Caroline Podvin and Ashtan Vance.
Unicoi County welcomes Hampton Monday while Sullivan Central goes to Tennessee High Saturday.