Hardin Valley outlasts Cyclones, 75-65

Published 1:43 pm Saturday, November 28, 2015


The Cyclones Jalen Smith gets high off the floor for a jump shot in Friday night’s clash with Hardin Valley.

KINGSPORT— Every time the Elizabethton Cyclones made a run for the front, the Hardin Valley Hawks worked a little harder to get the separation needed to take a 75-65 win over the Cyclones at Sullivan South High School Friday evening.

“It was just an early season thing where we are just getting our kids out of football,” said Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “The effort was there. We were all over the place getting the basketball.”

Elizabethton (1-2) came out with a flourish to open the contest to build a five-point lead before the Hawks found their footing and closed out the opening quarter with a run of their own to take a 20-17 lead at the first stop.

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Michael Robinson and Tre McCrary swished the nets for five points each to open the contest for Elizabethton. Tyler Thompson scored five to lead Hardin Valley.

The Hawks continued to maintain separation in the second period as David Henson began to get into the flow of the contest from his guard position. He tallied nine points to help his team build a 40-33 halftime advantage.

Robinson continued to find the scoring range, totaling seven for Elizabethton to keep the Cyclones in the contest. Jalen Smith dumped in four as well for Honeycutt’s squad.

The Cyclones needed to get some defensive stops coming out of the locker room after intermission and managed to do so. But every time the Cyclones pulled even or even took a slim one-point lead, the Hawks had an answer of their own.

Henson continued to play string music as the 5’10 junior hit for three treys to pace the Hawks. Robinson wasn’t about to back down from the challenge and registered nine points hitting two treys for Elizabethton to help ‘Betsy stick around trailing 56-46 going into the final quarter.

Elizabethton had another solid run in the fourth quarter to knot the score but Hardin Valley, behind the effort of Seth Long, Henson, and Aaron Dykes held the Cyclones at bay to register the 10-point win.

The Hawks hit 14-of-19 free throws in the final stanza as the Cyclones were forced to foul to try and get the ball back.

After being held in check for the first three quarters, Bo Pless finally managed to break through for eight points in the final quarter to give the Cyclones a chance. Robinson hit seven.

For the game, Robinson led all scorers with 28 points, including six three’s on the night.

“He’s a gamer who comes to play no matter what,” said Honeycutt. “He made some big shots. I am real pleased with him offensively, and he needs to get better defensively. He’s going to have a good season.”

Meanwhile, Robinson said he knew he was in the groove.

“You just have got to feel it which is really hard to explain,” stated the sharpshooting Robinson. “I had that feeling and it didn’t go away. When you miss then it’s time to stop I guess. I had some good shots and was able to knock them down.”

Pless was the only other Cyclone in double figures with 12 points. Smith finished with eight points and Adam Cornett chipped in with six. McCrary contributed with five.

Henson was high point man for Hardin Valley with 25. Long added 15 points for the Hawks.

Elizabethton will play Knox Gibbs Saturday night.