“I’m super proud of the guys,” said Cougars coach Derek McGhee. “We didn’t shoot it well offensively, but to pull out a win is great.”
Central (9-11, 4-1) managed just eight first-quarter points, half of them from Troy Rosenbalm. But the Cougars woke up and clawed their way to a 20-15 halftime lead.
Central led by a dozen in the final quarter, but the Blue Devils cut the margin to four with under three minutes left. But the Cougars made their free throws down the stretch, going 9-for-12 from the line in the fourth.
Rosenbalm finished with 14. Kaden Duncan hit a pair of second-quarter 3-pointers and 6 of 6 free throws in the game to account for his 12 points.
Brock Thompson led Unicoi County with a dozen points, and Brett Lingerfelt and Gavin Casey each added 10.
The Cougars are tied with Johnson County for second place in the Three Rivers standings, one game behind Elizabethton.
LADY COUGARS RUN TO WIN
A fast start sent the Lady Cougars on their way to a 48-39 win that kept them undefeated in the Three Rivers.
Abbey Crawford had a game-best 16 points and Peyton Sams had 10 for Central (12-9, 5-0), which led 11-4 after one quarter.
The Lady Cougars have a 12-9 overall record while Unicoi County went to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in the league.
The Lady Blue Devils (9-5, 3-3) had a trio of 10-point scorers in Chloe Powers, Caroline Podvin and Ashtan Vance.