Jellico’s 65-59 Monday night win over University at Brooks Gym vaults JHS to Elite 8

By Jim Freeman

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WLAF) – “You play like that Monday night, and they’ll beat us,” shouted Jellico Basketball Coach Mike Reynolds. Point taken. Senior Blue Devil John Zecchini did not play like that Monday night like he did during a stretch at Saturday afternoon’s practice. Instead, number 13 in the black jersey hustled from the opening tip to the victorious ending as Jellico defeated University High.

Watch the Jellico-University game HERE on demand from WLAF. The telecast is made possible by Hope+Stand, Common Ground, UBank, The Pizza Spot and Maximum Potential.

“I knew Carson (Bolton) and Isaac (McNealey) would come to play tonight, but we needed Zecchini and the rest of the team to step up as well. And they did,” said a sweaty, elated Reynolds following Monday night’s historic win.

The Blue Devils (20 & 11) won over one of last season’s state tourney semi-final teams, University High, on its home floor Monday. The Buccaneers finish their season at 23 & 9. Jellico plays Frank Hughes High School at Murphy Center on Wednesday night (March 13) at 9:45 EDT. Hughes sports a mighty mark at 24 & 9.

Jellico’s Bolton was the sectional game’s top scorer with 25 while McNealey tallied 15. Six points came from Caleb Rose and two a piece from Trey Vann and Dre Webb. While several Blue Devils nursed three and four fouls after halftime, Seth Brandenburg, Webb and Carter Terry contributed key minutes and plays.

Unofficially, Zecchini ended up with a double-double as he hustled the full 94-feet all night long. A line of 15 points and 10 rebounds sits beside Zecchini’s name in the final stats. Point taken. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/05/2024-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S MATTHEW MOORE)