Lady Cyclones outrun East 87-67 to take Doc Maples Christmas title
Published 11:12 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2015
BRISTOL— Two teams that knew each other really well went head to head at Viking Hall on Wednesday night for the championship of the Doc Maples Christmas Tourney as the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones and Sullivan East Lady Patriots fought for the title.
In the end, the Lady Cyclones had a little more fuel in the tanks and got a 30-point performance from tournament MVP Kayla Marosites to secure the championship and keep their record unblemished with an 87-67 victory.
Elizabethton (11-0) and East (12-4) are conference foes in the Three Rivers Conference.
“East has a very good basketball team and they do things very well,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Len Dugger said. “Not to compound anything, but we are a very tired team both physically and mentally. We have played five games in six days.
“Girls don’t fare too well in that situation—guys don’t even fare good in that situation,” added Dugger. “I thought we have stood the test with everything that we have confronted from Gate City until tonight. We played a very good basketball team tonight, but we are leg weary to be honest.”
The first matchup was everything most expected and more as the Lady Cyclones found themselves in a dogfight in the early going as East was running neck-and-neck with Elizabethton.
‘Betsy worked out to a three-point edge, 21-18, at the first stop as the Lady Patriots pretty much matched Coach Dugger’s squad shot for shot.
Kayla Marosites and Emily Kiser paced the Lady Cyclones with seven and six points respectively in the quarter.
Kara Stafford’s five points led East in the early going.
The Lady Cyclones managed to get a little breathing room in the second period as Kayla Marosites hit for nine points in the stanza including five straight points to eek the lead out to 26-18 with six minutes left in the half.
Emily Schubert continued to give Elizabethton strong play in the post, scoring six points while feeding the outside for a trio of treys. Kiser took advantage of Schubert’s assist to nail two treys in the quarter.
“These games are big because this time of year is a big time for growth when you are playing against really good teams,” said Schubert. “I think it’s great that we came out and played as hard as we could especially since Sullivan East is in our conference.
“We felt like we had to prove something and take their mentality out of it for the rest of the year,” she added.
Stafford continued to have a hot hand as the senior forward dumped seven points to keep East in the ballgame.
When the horn sounded to signal the break, the Lady Cyclones held the upper hand at 42-30.
Elizabethton continued to play strong and consistent in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady ‘Pats 24-18.
Kayla Marosites registered nine more points to up her total to 25 after three complete. Haley Burleson added four in the stanza off the bench, while Autumn Lyon, with two points, gave Dugger some good minutes while he rested Melenda Perry and Kiser.
Schubert added four as well.
“East came out really hard tonight but we did pretty good scoring on offense,” said Marosites about the contest. “We play them in the conference and probably will play them at tournament time.
“They are always going to come out hard against us, because they want to beat us, but we have just got to keep playing hard and practicing hard.” she added. Kayla Honaker buried two long-range three’s to keep East within range. Stafford had five.
Elizabethton managed to play through foul trouble in the fourth period as four Lady Cyclones had been saddled with four fouls each to fend off any possible comeback attempt.
Kelci Marosites had the big quarter hitting nine of her 17 points in the final period. Kiser maintained her hot shooting by ripping the nets for seven to finish off the contest.
Brandy Watkins collected eight of her 17 points in the stanza to show the way for the Lady Patriots.
“I think we played really hard the whole way,” said East head coach Allan Aubrey. “I told the guys in there that I think they are the best team in the state.
“I think there were three or four spurts where they got out in front of us, but for the most part I think it was a pretty even contest,” added Aubrey. “We have got to find a way to guard them. I feel like we can score but have to find a way to guard them.”
Kiser was named to the All-Tourney team along with Kayla Marosites.
“I have been pretty much the sixth man in since my sophomore and junior year, and now I am a senior and know I have a starting role, and I have to be on my game from the very beginning,” said Kiser.“I want to be on my game because it sets the tone for the rest of the game, and I don’t want to be down. I want to contribute to my great team.”
Kayla Marosites recorded a double-double with 15 rebounds for the contest to lead in that category as well.
Doc Maples Christmas Tourney Championship
Kayla Marosites 30, Kelci Marosites 17, Emily Kiser 21, Haley Burleson 4, Emily Schubert 13, Autumn Lyon 2.
Sullivan East (67)
Alyssa Hare 7, Kara Stafford 21, Megan Addison 7, Brandy Watkins 17, Kassidy Nelson 5, Kait Nidiffer 4, Kayla Honaker 6.
Elizabethton……21 �� 21 24 21 – 87
Sullivan East……18 12 18 19 – 67
3-pt goals: Sullivan East 9 (Alyssa Hare, Kara Stafford, Megan Addison, Brandy Watkins 3, Kassidy Nelson, Kayla Honaker 2). Elizabethton 8 (Kayla Marosites 2, Kelci Marosites 3, Emily Kiser 3).