Lady Cyclones storm back from 15-point deficit to win District 1-AA title

Published 11:33 pm Monday, February 22, 2016


KINGPSPORT— The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones came into the District 1-AA Girls’ Tournament as hands-down favorites, but Sullivan East wasn’t buying any of it.

The Lady Patriots roared to a 15-point lead in the first half behind monster shooting from beyond the arc, but the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones took a deep breath and systematically sliced off the deficit before grabbing the lead and holding on to take the championship, 69-63.

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“We believed in ourselves, we just had to get ourselves together and stay positive,” said tournament MVP Kayla Marosites. “We knew we could come back. We just relaxed and started to playing together and playing better defense. Once we got the lead, we just kept playing better defense.”

For the first 16 minutes, it looked like the East Patriots were going to throw a noose around the neck of the Lady Cyclones as they were having their way from beyond the arc and at the foul line much to the liking of the pro-Patriot crowd.

Caitlin Stewart and Megan Addison knocked down a trio of three’s while Kara Stafford, Alyssa Hare, and Brandy Watkins collected one each to help build the lead out to 15 points at one stage of the first half.

However, the senior leadership of Emily Schubert, who had college scouts from Virginia Tech, University of Tennessee, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, William and Mary, Duke, and Tennessee Tech in the stands, and Kayla Marosites helped the Lady Cyclones cut the lead down by the half to 44-38.

Schubert had 11 points in the half hitting 9-of-12 from the charity stripe and Marosites had 15 despite being corralled with two fouls early.

“We were all trying to be leaders and help each other out,” said Schubert. “We were trying to play off each other and do everything the best we could and to the best of our ability.

“This will help us going forth with just the situation and the fans,” she added. “It’s good on the road to state to get use to that stuff and the surroundings.”

Addison had 13 first-half points to lead East while Watkins and Stewart had nine points apiece.

The Lady Cyclones came out of the locker room and went to a matchup zone which took the Lady Patriots out of their rhythm and allowed the Lady Cyclones the ability to take over the game.

Behind 11 third-quarter points from Kelci Marosites, the Lady Cyclones finally managed to flip the scoreboard in their advantage as Elizabethton took a 57-53 lead into the final eight minutes of play.

With the zone defense continuing to create an air of confusion, the Lady Cyclones built their lead out to ten before East managed to shave the final difference down to six points as the final horn sounded.

Kayla Marosites poured in 26 points to lead all scorers to earn the MVP hardware. Schubert and Kelci Marosites finished with 15 points each. Emily Kiser rounded out the quartet of double-digit scorers with 11 points for Elizabethton.

Watkins finished with 17 points in a gutsy game for the Lady ‘Pats while Addison ended up the contest with 16 points. Stafford and Stewart registered 12 and 11 points respectively.

“They have so many kids that can shoot the basketball,” said Lady Cyclone coach Len Dugger. “They have two or three kids that love to shoot behind the three-point line. They will flourish there if they get into a groove, and we allowed them to do that.

“Give Coach Aubrey and his team credit because they came with a good game plan. We just got frustrated with ourselves. We settled down and got some stops,” added Dugger. “We made some timely buckets when we really needed to and did a better job of defending the last three quarters than in the first quarter to quarter and a half.”

The Lady Cyclones will host a regional game on Friday night at John Treadway Gym.



Elizabethton, 69-63

Sullivan East (63)

Alyssa Hare 7, Kara Stafford 12, Megan Addison 16, Brandy Watkins 17, Caitlin Stewart 11.

Elizabethton (69)

Kayla Marosites 26, Kelci Marosites 15, Emily Kiser 11, Emily Schubert 15, Melenda Perry 2. Sullivan East……24   20     9   10 – 63

Elizabethton.……22   16   19   12 – 69

3-PT GOALS: Sullivan East 12 (Caitlin Stewart 3, Megan Addison 4, Kara Stafford, Alyssa Hare, Brandy Watkins 3). Elizabethton 10 (Kayla Marosites 6, Emily Kiser 3, Kelci Marosites 1).