In the fourth quarter, however, things took a turn before a buzzer-beating 3-point shot from senior Jared Adkins lifted the Trailblazers to a 65-63 win over the Blue Devils.
Adkins, who finished with a team-high 15 points, grabbed the ball at the top of the key and calmly sank a “nothing but net” shot as time expired to lift Daniel Boone (6-3) to the dramatic victory.
“It was a busted play. They snuck out to my teammate and left me wide open and I hit it,” Adkins said of the play.
It was a shock to most that the game came down to a final shot.
The Trailblazers led Gate City (0-1) for the entire contest and entered the final quarter with a 55-33 advantage.
But the Blue Devils battled back in dramatic fashion, outscoring Boone 29-5 to take a 62-60 lead with 1:38 left.
The lead was the first of the game for Gate City.
A basket from Adkins cut the lead to 63-62 with 44 seconds left in the game.
Both teams had their chances to score in the waning seconds, but neither could until Adkins hit the game-winner.
“Our kids responded,” said Boone coach Chris Brown. “You blow a big 20-point lead like that and Gate City takes the lead, and we’re able to still fight through it and make a play there at the end.”
Gate City coach Scott Vermillion said the game with the fourth-quarter run by his team was a character builder for the remainder of the season.
“We changed our lineup a little bit and started playing a different defense — and it worked against them at that point and time,” said Vermillion. “It comes down to a lot of things, but the fight and determination we showed at the end and I’ll take that over other things that happened.
“We didn’t deserve to win that game. They deserved to win that game. I’d like to win, make no mistake. But we might not learn the lesson if we win.”
Ayden Begley finished with 13 points for Boone, as did Cade Norris.
Gate City got 30 points from Bradley Dean, while Jon Compton added 11.
BOONE GIRLS ROLL
In the girls game, Daniel Boone (5-4) used an 11-0 scoring run in the opening quarter to build a 19-5 advantage and never looked back on the way to a 47-37 win over the Lady Blue Devils (0-1).
Lady Trailblazers coach Beau Hauldren credited his team’s new-look zone defense for a big part in the win.
“Tonight was the first time we’ve really played much of a zone and I was really happy about that,” said Hauldren. “One thing that we are is long. And the zone can definitely help us throughout the year. We’re going to use more of a zone this year than we did last year. So, I was really happy with it tonight.”
Jaycie Jenkins led Boone’s scoring attack with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Kayla Gibson had nine points.
Gate City got a team-high 11 points and 10 rebounds from Sarah Thompson.