Cyclones fall to hot shooting Warriors in sectional action, 74-62

Published 11:11 pm Monday, March 7, 2016


One team came out on fire and the other one couldn’t find a water hose to douse the flames.

Christian Academy of Knoxville used some pinpoint shooting in the first 16 minutes of play to construct a 35-28 halftime lead, and the Elizabethton Cyclones fought with all their might but just couldn’t cool the Warriors as CAK advanced to the state Class AA tournament with a 74-62 win inside John Treadway Gym on Monday.

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“I was comfortable when we was up 18, but when they started hitting three’s I was a nervous wreck all night, I can’t lie,” said CAK head coach Shane Wells. “I think we have a great chance at the state tournament. We played a great schedule.

“We played in the Arby’s, played CPA already, and played at Science Hill and Oak Ridge. I think we have a great shot if we get hot and make a bunch of three’s.”

Isiah Sulack drilled three treys and Cole Smith also chipped in with nine as CAK put on a clinic on shooting from all over the floor to jump to the front by the intermission.

Michael Robinson and Bo Pless tried their best to keep the deficit as low as possible as Robinson scored nine points in the half and Pless added eight.

“I think they were playing fast and got us at a pace that we weren’t as comfortable playing in,” said Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “We probably should have just slowed down and moved the ball a little bit more before we took some of those shots.

“That probably would have just led to some more buckets on our end,” added Honeycutt. “They got to playing in that rhythm and we let them get to playing in that rhythm toward the end of the second quarter and made a couple of boneheaded plays just got the foul count up high and put them on the free throw line.”

Jalen Smith and Alex Norwood added four each in the half while Teve Mushayamunda dropped in three.

The Warriors continued to build their advantage in the third period to 15 as they outscored the home standing Cyclones 14-6 in the third stanza.

Sulack continued his hot hand adding seven more to his ledger. Norwood’s four points paced the Cyclones.

Facing an uphill battle, the Cyclones never went away as they started to dial up their long-range artillery in the final eight minutes in trying to claw back into the contest.

Elizabethton drained seven treys total in the final quarter led by Hayden Townsend with three. Robinson added seven points before fouling out.

Tre McCrary came off the Cyclone bench and knocked down a pair of three’s while Adam Cornett collected the other as the Cyclones outscored the Warriors 28-25 down the stretch.

While the Cyclones were lighting it up from the arc, the Warriors were making a living at the foul line hitting 19-of-29 from the foul line.

The eye-popping stat of the night was the number of trips to the charity stripe as CAK won that category easily, 43-8.

Sulack led all scorers on the evening with a game-high 22. Most fans remember Sulack from the Arby’s Classic where he hit nine treys in one game.

Hunter Reynolds contributed 19—hitting 11 of those from the foul line in the fourth period. Smith, who led the Warriors over the Cyclones as CAK’s quarterback in football season, finished with 16.

Robinson led the Cyclones with 18 points. Townsend followed with nine points while Pless wrapped up his Cyclone career with eight points as did Norwood.

McCrary and Mushayamunda finished with six points apiece.

“The Sulack kid and Reynolds kids are great shooters and I thought those two kids did a good job tonight,” stated Honeycutt. “The Smith kid stepped up for them in the first quarter and he had a great night.

“They deserved to win tonight. They were the better team,” added Honeycutt. “Our kids played their hearts out and never quit and I am proud of them for the season they had this year.

The drawing for the Class AA state bracket will be at 5 pm CST in Murfreesboro on Tuesday afternoon.



CAK, 74-62

Christian Academy of Knoxville (74)

Isiah Sulack 22, Hunter Reynolds 19, Cole Smith 16, David High 3, Michael DeBusk 5, Haydn Tanner 2, Stewart Howell 7.

Elizabethton (62)

Adam Cornett 3, Michael Robinson 18, Teve Mushayamunda 6, Tre McCrary 6, Jalen Smith 4, Hayden Townsend 9, Alex Norwood 8, Bo Pless 8.

CAK……………  22   13   14   25 – 74

Elizabethton……17  11     6   28 – 62

3-PT GOALS:  CAK 8 (Isiah Sulack 5, Cole Smith 2, Michael DeBusk). Elizabethton 11 (Michael Robinson 3, Teve Mushayamunda, Bo Pless, Tre McCrary 2, Hayden Townsend 3, Adam Cornett).