BY SCOTT R. FISHER
AFTON - The Chuckey-Doak boys' basketball team was unable to pull another rabbit of its hat Saturday , as the magic it found the previous night in a win over Grainger did not carry over.
Unicoi County came calling and left Greene County with a pair of non-conference wins on the hardcourt. The Lady Blue Devils earned a 69-59 win while the nightcap was a nail-bitter than went down to the final seconds. The Black Knights fell 65-63.
The Lady Knights drop to 5-7 on the season, while the Black Knights fall to 7-5. The Chuckey-Doak squads will hit the road Tuesday for a trip to Hampton.
STRONG THIRD QUARTER NOT ENOUGH FOR KNIGHTS
Basketball can be a game of runs. To win most games, your team needs to make more runs than your opponent.
On Saturday there were huge momentum swings throughout the contest between the boys teams from Chuckey-Doak and Unicoi County. The fresher legs of the Blue Devils might have proved the difference in the outcome.
The opening quarter was a tight affair, with neither team gaining much of an advantage. The largest lead was 5-2 for the Blue Devils. The period closed with the Black Knights trailing 13-11.
The first major run came at the start of the second quarter. Unicoi County erupted for 10 quick points. A slim two-point cushion exploded to 21-11 before CDHS had a chance to realize what hit them.
Senior Corey Swinney halted the barrage momentarily with a three-pointer to breath a little life in the home team. The lead hovered around double-digits the rest of the half, though.
The visiting Blue Devils enjoyed a 33-21 lead heading in to the halftime intermission.
Coach Sam Broyles and his staff must have fired up the troops during the break, because it was a different group of players who came out of the locker room for the second half.
Chuckey-Doak gave Unicoi County a dose of its own medicine in the third quarter. The Black Knights poured in 18 of the quarter's first 20 points. A 12-point deficit was quickly turned into a 39-35 lead in less then four minutes.
Five different Black Knight players contributed to the scoring burst. Garrett Johnson had five points in the run. Johnson led all scores on Saturday with 21 points.
In the final four minutes of the third quarter, the two teams traded baskets. Through three quarters of play, Chuckey-Doak held a 49-45 lead.
Unfortunately for the hometown fans, that slim lead did not hold up. The Blue Devils used an 8-0 run in the middle part of the fourth to re-take the lead. The Black Knights had a 56-54 advantage before the run. Chuckey-Doak never regained the lead the rest of the game.
Senior Birkir Viddison sank a basket with 9.6 seconds left to trim the margin down to 65-63.
After Unicoi County missed the front-end of a 1-and-1, the Black Knights had a chance to tie or win the game. Chuckey-Doak turned the ball over before getting a shot off, though.
Swinney was the only other Black Knight to reach double-digit scoring, finishing with 19 points.
The Blue Devils were led by four players in double-digits. Nic Chambers paced his team with 16 points.
LADY KNIGHTS DROP HIGH-SCORING GAME
For the second straight night, the Chuckey-Doak Lady Knights could not keep pace in a high-scoring matchup on their home court.
On Saturday, it was Unicoi County who raced past Chuckey-Doak. The final score was 69-59. The first three quarters were played at a frenetic pace with baskets coming in bunches.
The Lady Devils broke open a close game at the half, by netting 21 points in the third quarter. The Lady Knights were held to 12 points and found themselves trailing 57-45 heading into the final quarter.
The two squads raced up and down the court trying to score as quickly as possible in the opening quarter. After eight minutes of play, only one point separated the teams, with Chuckey-Doak holding a slim 18-17 lead. Sophomore Andi Lamb scored six of her game-high 17 points in the period.
The pace continued into the second period, but the scoring slowed as the defenses began getting more stops.
The Lady Devils used a 10-4 run in the middle part of the quarter to turn a 25-21 deficit into a 31-29 lead. Chuckey-Doak could not recover the momentum and trailed 36-33 at the half.
The third quarter played a pivotal role in the outcome of the contest. Unicoi County opened the half by scoring nine of the first 11 points after the break. In two-and-a-half minutes, the Lady Knights found themselves facing a double-digit defict.
For the rest of the third, the lead remained at or near 10 points. Chuckey-Doak could never put together a run of its own to pull within striking distance.
The start of the fourth quarter was another offensive explosion for the Lady Devils. The lead grew to 64-47 in the first three minutes of the final period. Chuckey-Doak scored the final five points of the game to produce the final score.
The Lady Devils had four players score in double-figures, led by Tiffany Laughren with 16 points.
For the Lady Knights, senior Hannah Riddle was the only other player besides Lamb to reach double-digits with 16 points. Junior Alyssa Broyles and freshman Keri Ricker each contributed seven points in the loss.