In the quarterfinals of the Mountain 7 District tournament Tuesday, senior guard Kate Pendleton joined them in the spotlight.
Pendleton had a team-high 20 points — 10 in the second quarter — in the Lady Blue Devils’ 63-53 win over Union.
Thompson finished with 17 points and Fullen kicked in 13 for Gate City, which triumphed over the Lady Bears for a third time this season, each decision by double digits.
“Kate has been steady for us this season and a lot of what she does doesn’t show up on the stat sheet for us,” Gate City coach Kelly Houseright said. “We’ve got two really good players, but I also think we’ve got some other key players that can step up like Kate did tonight.”
Freshman guard Macey Mullins also had a huge stretch for the Lady Blue Devils (17-6) in the beginning of the fourth quarter with her team leading by six.
Mullins had a putback off a missed free throw, got a steal at halfcourt and then got a fast-break layup to put Gate City up 55-45 with 5:11 left to play. Mullins finished with 10 points.
“(Macey) has been playing better for us lately, too,” Houseright said. “She’s finally coming into her own and she’s really not a freshman anymore. She’s played enough basketball that she knows what to do.
“We just told her to go out there and make plays.”
Gate City never trailed, but Union went toe to toe with the Lady Devils all game long and had the lead down to 43-40 late in the third quarter. However, the short bench caught up to the Lady Bears (13-9), like it did much of the season, and a critical moment came when leading scorer Heather Lipps fouled out with 4:04 remaining. She finished with 20 points.
“We came over here and went toe to toe with them,” Union coach Kory Bostic said. “Gate City is a hard place to play. ... I’m proud of the effort of the girls and we’re getting there. We’re really close and the last two weeks, we’ve been playing a lot better basketball. That’s the whole plan is to go into the postseason playing our best game.
“We’ve got a week to prepare for the regional tournament and I’m excited about getting to back to practice this week and getting ready to go for whoever we draw next week.”
Gate City travels to Norton on Thursday for a Mountain 7 semifinal matchup with No. 1 seed Wise Central.
Union awaits its opponent from the Southwest District in next week’s Region 2D tournament.