Blue Devils seeded third in District 4-A

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By Dwane Wilder

After winning District 2-A regular season and league tournament championships in 2009, Jellico High School’s boys had a tougher time this year after moving to District 4.

The Blue Devils (9-3 district, 16-9 overall) are seeded third going into this week’s district tournament at Wartburg.

Jellico will get to host a first-round game tonight (Thurs.) at 7 p.m. against sixth-seeded Oakdale. The remainder of the tournament will be played at Wartburg. Oliver Springs is seeded first and Sunbright second following a tiebreaker involving the Bobcats, Tigers and Blue Devils. Led by District 4-A Coach of the Year Marty Maxfelt, the Sunbright Tigers had a three-game lead heading into the final week of the regular season before losing games to Oliver Springs and Jellico.

During a 65-61 victory Friday night at Jellico, senior forward Jesse Chambers led all scorers with 23 points for the Blue Devils. He and frontcourt mate Thomas Ridenour, who scored 11 points, were named to the all-district team for their efforts this season.

Jellico forward Dustin Smiddy, who was an honorable mention candidate for all-district honors, chipped in eight points along with point guard Darius Marlow. Brent Ayers added seven points for the Blue Devils, followed by Michael Smith, Lee England and Gabe Mitchell two each; and Jeremiah Thompson one. The win avenged an earlier loss to the Tigers at Sunbright.