Powered by Bradley Dean’s 41 points, Gate City outscored Wise Central 45-30 in the second half to take a 69-59 Mountain 7 District boys basketball win at Gate City Middle School.
Gate City (8-4, 5-0) has won 71 straight district games at home and the Blue Devils have won 63 of their past 64 games inside the Devils’ Den.
Central (11-4, 4-1) — powered by the shooting of Isaiah McAmis, who finished with 25 points, and Elijah Hayes, who scored 20 — led 29-24 at halftime.
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McAmis scored 11 points in the third quarter to help the Warriors maintain their lead through the early minutes of the period. But a 17-5 run by Gate City, sparked by the solid shooting of Dean, gave the Blue Devils a 47-45 advantage heading into the fourth.
“McAmis is awful good,” Gate City coach Scottie Vermillion said. “He hit those shots early and took it to the hole and was getting to the free-throw line and then — bang, bang — came out in the second half and hit two big shots.”
Vermillion said his team changed up how McAmis was guarded in the second half.
“We guarded him a little different and a little better in the second half,” Vermillion noted. “But they’re a hard matchup. He and Hayes are really good players.”
Vermillion was also proud of the game that Dean played: “Those deep 3s were the difference,” the coach said.
Dean finished with seven 3-point shots, hitting five of them in the third quarter.
“He’s awful good, too,” Vermillion said. “Brad’s played a lot basketball in a lot of big games and made a lot of big shots.”
Central coach T.J. McAmis said the game became more physical in the second half.
“I thought we handled it pretty well in the first half. I thought we handled the game, we were the much better team, and then it got physical and things got crazy again in typical faction and we didn’t respond well,” Coach McAmis said. “We didn’t keep our poise and we didn’t execute well in the second half.
“We’ve got to fix that. We’ve got to take those two quarters and when it shifts and gets physical, we’ve got to compete and keep our poise and execute.”
McAmis said his team has to adjust to the way the game is being played and the way it’s being officiated.
“When you’re driving the lane and you’ve got bodies against you and it’s not being called, you’ve got to finish,” he said. “We went to Florida, we went to the Arby’s and those things are called clean and you get to the AOA (officials association) and those things are called a lot different. It’s called a lot different.
“That game right there was called a lot different than the Arby’s and you’ve got to adjust as a player and as a team and we didn’t do that.”
Jon Compton added 10 points for Gate City.
GATE CITY GIRLS WIN BIG
Sarah Thompson scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Lady Blue Devils (7-6, 3-2) to a 64-40 win.
Gate City led 32-11 at halftime and stayed up by double digits throughout the second half.
Central got 12 points from Jill Sturgill and 11 Hannah Carter.