Lady Cyclones claim Region 1-AA title over Grainger

Published 9:51 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SP0303 EHS vs Graingers A copy

RUTLEDGE— The Lady Grizzlies of Grainger always thought that playing on their home court would be the advantage they needed to beat the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones—boy what were they thinking.

The Lady Cyclones continued their march to Murfreesboro with a 56-44 win over Grainger before a hostile Lady Grizzlies student body to take the Region 1-AA title.

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“Just a very classy and very tough bunch of kids,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Len Dugger when talking about his team’s performance. “What can you say—they just went to war and didn’t let anything faze them.

“We made some big shots down the stretch there obviously. Emily (Kiser) was standing in front of me there in the fourth quarter and makes a three,” added Dugger. “I thought (Emily) Schubert— defensively, her aggressiveness keeping some balls alive and she rebounded really strong tonight was a huge plus for us.

“And Haley (Burleson) came in and played well for us at a very critical time.”

It was a dogfight from the opening tip as the Lady Cyclones, behind seven first-quarter points from Haley Burleson, squeezed out a two-point advantage, 19-17.

Kayla and Kelci Marosites added five and four respectively in the opening stanza.

Kenzie Conn was hot for Grainger as she tallied 10 of the 17 points scored to open the game for the Lady Grizzlies.

The Lady Cyclones (32-0) were able to get a little more grip over the Lady Grizzlies (25-9) just before half with Kelci Marosites doing most of the damage scoring eight points in the second period to extend Elizabethton’s lead to 34-29.

Karli Combs and Kaitlin Simon scored four apiece to keep Grainger close in the quarter.

With the fans on both sides fully engulfed in the contest, the second half turned into a cat and mouse game as the Lady Cyclones scored only five points in the third as Grainger elected to sink back into a deep zone as Melenda Perry basically dribbled off five minutes of the quarter as both teams were content to sit and watch the time tick away.

Perry’s three points and two from Kayla Marosites were the only points scored by the Lady Cyclones in the quarter.

Combs had the only two for Grainger in the quarter.

Leading 39-31 going to the final period, Emily Kiser finally broke loose to score nine in the period, including two treys. Kayla Marosites added five to help the Lady Cyclones take the 12-point win.

“The last few years I have had pretty good games against them, so they had number 11 guarding me really, really close,” said Kiser. “I came out in the second half and knew I had to score some points because it was a really close game. My mindset was to be confident and to score.”

Region MVP Kayla Marosites scored 16 points to lead the Lady Cyclones to the win. Kelci Marosites added 12 points while Burleson landed in double figures with 10.

The Lady Grizzlies were paced by Combs with 16 points. Conn and Marisa Hipsher joined Combs in double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively.

Elizabethton will host Gatlinburg-Pittman (25-5) on Saturday at 7 pm in the sectional with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

“It’s huge to have the sectional game in Elizabethton,” stated Dugger. “I was riding on the bus down here thinking our great fans have followed us all the way down here.

“I really wanted us to win and play at home so our fans wouldn’t have to go on the road,” Dugger added. “And show a little appreciation. It’s huge to play at home, but it’s no give-me. We are going to have to go and play and play big and for 32 minutes. These kids are going to have to come out and play hard. I believe in them.”

Grainger will travel to Knox Fulton (17-9), a 59-55 overtime winner over G-P in Region 2.


Region 1-AA Girls Final

Elizabethton, 56-44

Elizabethton (56)

Kayla Marosites 16, Kelci Marosites 12, Emily Kiser 9, Emily Schubert 6, Melenda Perry 3, Haley Burleson 10.

Grainger (44)

Karli Combs 16, Kenzie Conn 12, Kaitlin Simon 6, Marisa Hipsher 10.

Elizabethton……  19   15   5   17 – 56

Grainger………..  17   12   2   13 – 44

3-PT Goals: Grainger 2 (Karli Combs 2). Elizabethton 8 (Kayla Marosites, Kelci Marosites 2, Emily Kiser 2, Haley Burleson 2, Melenda Perry).