Lady Cyclones use second half surge to overcome Happy Valley

Published 11:35 pm Friday, January 15, 2016


A sardine couldn’t even find a place to squeeze into Charlie Bayless Gym on Friday night as an old county rivalry was on tap, when the Elizabethton Cyclones came calling on the Happy Valley Warriors.

In the night’s opening game, the state’s top team in Class AA—the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones had their hands full of a pumped up group of Happy Valley Lady Warriors as the Lady Cyclones had to battle with all they had for the first 16 minutes before finding a way to pull away in the end to take a 71-51 win.

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“I was tickled for everyone,” said Lady Cyclone coach Len Dugger. “I knew it was going to be hard fought, and that Coach (Larry) Abel had his kids ready to play.

“The zone was kind to us,” Dugger added. “Tuesday night, I was upset with the way we played in the first half, but I thought about it when I got home, and I would rather play ugly and win than play ugly and lose.”

The Lady Warriors (3-2, 15-6) were firing on all cylinders in the early going as they would lead at the end of the first quarter 15-10 behind four points each from Emily Whitaker and Kenzie Davis.

Emily Kiser’s four points paced Elizabethton.

The Lady Cyclones (6-0, 19-0) finally righted the ship in the second quarter behind Kelci Marosites who dumped in 10 points in the period. Kayla Marosites found her footing to add five to the charge to give the Lady Cyclones a 35-30 lead at the break.

Charli Bare had five in the second quarter leading Happy Valley.

If the Lady Cyclones needed a spark to get them rolling in the second half, Kiser fitted the bill as she plastered the nets for 16 points in the third quarter. Kiser scored 14 straight on four treys and a field goal.

“I have never really got in a rhythm like that which was really cool,” said Kiser about her third period shooting performance. “I was a little disappointed in the way we played in the first half, but we came out and played our game in the second half.”

With Kiser’s hot hand, the score was 57-42 at the end of the third, and the Lady Warriors had a big hole to dig out of heading into the last eight minutes of play.

With the sizeable lead in tow, the Lady Cyclones finished off the game with a 14-9 fourth quarter to seal the deal.

Kayla Marosites had four in the quarter while Kaitlyn Roberts tossed in five to lead the Lady Warriors.

Kiser finished the contest with 24 points to lead both squads in scoring. Kayla and Kelci Marosites added 15 points apiece.

Melenda Perry had a solid game as she dished off seven assists, with many going to Kiser, to go along with four points. Kayla Marosites added eight boards while Kiser had four steals and four rebounds.

For Happy Valley, Kalee Johnson was the only player to reach double digits with 12 points. Whitaker and Davis tallied nine points apiece with Bare and Roberts contributing seven.

Whitaker and Johnson also played a solid defensive game keeping the Marosites sisters in check for most of the contest.

“I am real proud of our effort with the defensive game scheme,” said Abel when evaluating his team’s effort. “We played really hard, but we had some breakdowns.

“Kiser got hot, and it was too big of a hole to come back from,” added Abel. “You can’t let them get on that type of run.”

Elizabethton 71, Happy Valley 43 (Boys)

Still feeling a little sting from a tough loss at Unicoi County on Tuesday night, the Elizabethton Cyclones (4-2, 9-8) came out with passion and some smooth shooting to build a 37-19 lead and never took their foot off the pedal to take the 28-point win over the Warriors (1-4, 12-7).

The Elizabethton faithful were happy to see Michael Robinson get back on track after scoring only five against the Blue Devils as the long-range bomber finished the game with a game-high 21 points.

Bo Pless continued to play solid and steady as the senior dropped in 15 points, while Jalen Smith came off the bench to score 12 points—seven in the fourth period.

Josh Hammonds led the Warriors with 10 points. Nathan Kyte collected nine, while Chris Young chipped in with eight.

“The difference was in the first quarter tonight as we ran our offense tonight and continued to do that in the first quarter,” said Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “We didn’t press too much in running down and getting off a bad shot and just ran our offense.”

The difference in the game for the Warriors came down to one word for Coach Chuck Babb—length.

“I think their length bothered us, and they shot the lights out in the first half,” said Babb. “Robinson was hot, and we tried to adjust our defense but a couple of them just shot over us.”


Elizabethton, 71-51

Elizabethton (71) Kayla Marosites 15, Kelci Marosites 15, Emily Kiser 24, Emily Schubert 4, Melenda Perry 4, Haley Burleson 5, Brittany Campbell 4.

Happy Valley (51)

Kenzie Davis 9, Sydney Puckett 1, Kaitlyn Roberts 7, Haley Green 2, Brianna Buck 4, Emily Whitaker 9, Kalee Johnson 12, Charli Bare 7.

Elizabethton……10   25   22   14 – 71

Happy Valley..…15   15   12     9 – 51

3-PT GOALS: Elizabethton 7 (Kelci Marosites 3, Emily Kiser 4). Happy Valley 2 (Emily Whitaker, Kaitlyn Roberts).



Elizabethton, 71-43

Elizabethton (71)

Adam Cornett 1, Michael Robinson 21, Teve Mushayamunda 4, Tre McCrary 6, Jalen Smith 12, Alex Norwood 6, Bo Pless 15, Will Bowers 2, Carter Everett 4.

Happy Valley (43)

Chris Young 8, Josh Hammonds 10, Nathan Kyte 9, Tyler Torbett 2, Austin Hicks 4, M.J. Camargo 2, Sam Blevins 2, Bryce Carter 1, Brayden Sams 5.

Elizabethton……15   22   13   21 – 71

Happy Valley..… 8    11   11   13 – 43

3-PT GOALS: Elizabethton 4 (Michael Robinson 4). Happy Valley 1 (Nathan Kyte).