Minus several key players, who are halfway through a six-game suspension for playing in an unauthorized benefit game, the Jellico High School boy’s basketball team somehow found a way to win Thursday night at the J. Frank White Academy.
Jeremiah Thompson bailed the Blue Devils out of their most recent quandary by scoring 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half of a 59-54 Jellico victory.
Thompson scored 10 of his points, including 4-of-4 free throws, to help break three ties in the fourth quarter.
Thomas Ridenour and Cody Lay also scored in double figures for the Blue Devils with 18 and 14 points, respectively. Lee England and Sammy Morris added two each.
The Knights ran out to a 12-5 advantage. However, that turned out be the largest lead by either team during a contest that was tied a total of 11 times.
Jellico rallied back with nine points from Ridenour and took a 17-15 lead on a pair of free throws from Lay. The first quarter ended with the first tie of the game, 17-17.
There were four ties in the second quarter - the last at 30-30 - and neither team led by more than four points.
The Blue Devils led by one, 41-40, going to the fourth quarter where they had to claw and scratch for every point they got. Jellico made 11-of-16 foul shots in the final eight minutes to put the game in the bag.
Jordan Smith and Matt Bailey put up a valiant fight for the Knights with 25 and 23 points, respectively. Bailey scored 11 in the fourth quarter alone.
Cody Standifer chipped in four points and Winston Kelley two for JFWA.
In the girl’s game, the Lady Knights pulled off a 55-39 upset against a team they had not beaten in 15 years.
Clarissa Medley, a junior from LaFollette, led all scorers with 27 points for JFWA. Medley was 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Medley’s cousin, Katie Mundy, also scored in double figures for the Lady Knights with 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Laurel Hankins-Koppel chipped in nine points for JFWA, followed by Tatum Barnett and Allison Moon with three each, and Victoria Bigelow two.
Noel Tiller paced Jellico with 17 points and four treys. Amber Barton and Ashley Gulley added six points each for the Lady Blue Devils, followed by Kayla Bolton with five, Ariel King two, Karli Creekmore and Mikayla Marlow one each.
The game was tied five times before JFWA took the lead at halftime, 22-21. The Lady Knights led 35-31 going to the fourth quarter where they finally pushed the margin to double digits.
Moon hit a walk-off three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to account for the final score. The Lady Knights (2-4 district, 5-9 overall) made 16-of-25 free throws, including 10-of-17 down the stretch to salt away the victory.