Kingsport Times-News: Team effort powers Gate City to district win at Lee

Team effort powers Gate City to district win at Lee

Kevin Mays • Jan 19, 2019 at 1:54 AM

BEN HUR — Gate City showed it’s more than a two-man team Friday.

The Blue Devils still got big points and quality play from Zac Ervin and Bradley Dean. But other Gate City players stepped up and played bigger roles in a 79-65 Mountain 7 District basketball win at Lee High.

“We’re still trying to find some pieces,” said Gate City coach Scott Vermillion. “We’re sharing it. We’ve got two kids that can really score the basketball and they’re doing a good job of finding other people. But they’ve still got to be who they are and be aggressive.

“The further we go, it will be important for the other guys to step up.”

Jon Compton played a key role for Gate City (13-2, 7-0). Compton connected on three 3-point shots early to help the Blue Devils maintain their lead over Lee, which stayed focused on Ervin and Dean.

The two Blue Devils leaders continued to top their team in most categories, including scoring. Ervin finished with 27 points and Dean came through with 22, including the 1,000th of the junior’s high school career.

For Lee coach Brian Coomer, the difference was the Generals’ lack of rebounding on both ends of the floor.

“Ervin and Dean are as good as anyone around here, better than anyone around here. We made them take tough shots and then we don’t get the rebound,” Coomer said. “But I can’t fault my kids’ effort tonight. We’ve just not rebounded all year and against a team like that it gets magnified.”

Both teams found shooting outside the 3-point arc to their liking. Lee (2-10, 2-4) connected on 15 3-point shots and Gate City finished with 10 treys.

“We live and die by (3-point shots) a little bit,” Coomer noted.

Jaxon Collier hit six 3s to finish with 18 points for the Generals. Jacob Whitaker scored 14 and Jacob Stewart added 12, each hitting four treys.


Gate City (11-4, 4-3) jumped out to an 18-9 first quarter lead and never looked back on the way to the 68-35 victory.

Sarah Thompson led the Lady Blue Devils with 23 points and four assists, and Jaden Fullen had 17 points with 13 rebounds.

Shelbie Fannon led Lee (4-11, 1-6) with 16 points.


Gate City’s boys and girls are back in action Saturday, hosting Daniel Boone. The girls’ game is scheduled to begin around 6 p.m. after boys and girls junior varsity games. The varsity boys follow the JV girls contest.

Lee is off until Tuesday when the Generals host Abingdon in Mountain 7 action.

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