Cyclones defense turns tide in 52-39 win over Chiefs

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ROGERSVILLE— To say that Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt wasn’t too happy after Elizabethton’s jamboree contest would be an understatement, but smiles abounded Tuesday night after his team responded in a big way after a sluggish opening quarter.

The result was a 52-39 win in a Hall of Champions contest to open the new season for both teams.

Wilson was balling Tuesday night

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Coming into the season, Honeycutt knew what capabilities senior Eric Wilson had and what the end result could be if Wilson got it rolling.

And boy did Wilson getting it rolling as the shooting guard blistered the nets with five treys and a game-high 19 points to pace his team.

Wilson was feeling it so much that when his coach wanted to take him out to give him a break that he begged to stay in because he was zoned in.

Football legs still showing

Up until Tuesday’s contest, the Cyclones were missing a bunch of contributing players due to football, but with last week’s loss to Anderson County, those players were decked out in different uniforms this week.

With Evan Perkins, Parker Hughes, Bryson Rollins, Jordan Haynes, and Carter Everett all present with all getting playing time except Everett who was still nursing a sore back, the Cyclone basketball team got a quick boost and it showed in different facets of the contest.

The shooting wasn’t exactly spot on, but the quickness on defense played huge dividends as several turnovers led to easy buckets.

Pulling away late

After trailing 11-8 at the first stop of the game to the Chiefs, the rest of the game offensively belonged to the Cyclones as Elizabethton led 22-17 at the half, 38-26 after three, and then substituted freely in the final eight minutes to take the 13-point win.

What the scoring ledger said

Aside from Wilson’s huge night, the Cyclones had 9 more players get their name in the scoring column.

Corbin Montgomery followed Wilson with eight followed by William Willocks with six points. Hughes and Perkins chipped in four points apiece while Nico Ashley and Brayden Phillips totaled three points each.

Christian Price and Austin Canter scored two each with Will Bowers added one point.

For Cherokee, Ryan Bledsoe led the way with 14 points. B. Gilliam added 9 while Joe Nichols, Carter Metz, and Jon Fulkerson contributed with four points each.

Honeycutt’s take on the contest

“They played hard—it wasn’t real pretty but they played hard. We really hadn’t had much preparation with the football boys being back. We just practiced one day, but we came in and said hey we are going to be very basic and play as hard as we can.

“I thought they did a great job of that and its nice to get a win. After last season, starting out with a win feels really, really good.

“Eric’s worked hard on shooting—just not this summer, but his entire career. He has the ability to shoot the ball and he just needs to have confidence and tonight I think he did. I am really happy for him because he had to shoulder a lot of the burden last season.”

Coming up

The Cyclones will travel to Pigeon Forge on Thursday.