Shell lifts Lady Cyclones over Cherokee, 52-50

Published 6:23 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ROGERSVILLE— It was the opening night of the 2018-19 basketball season, but with the way the Hall of Champions contest played out between the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones and the Cherokee Lady Chiefs one would have thought it was a game with playoff implications.

With the game tied at 49-all with just over a minute, the game came down to a Kaylen Shell old-fashion 3-point play and a last-second missed shot by Cherokee after converting 1-of-2 at the charity stripe for the Lady Cyclones to take the 52-50 win.

Nip and tuck in the opening quarter

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The Lady Cyclones managed to open the contest by working out to a slim one-point lead at the end of the first eight minutes.

Shell and Torrie Roberts led the way with four points in the period for Elizabethton to help the Lady Cyclones earn the narrow advantage.

Creating a little gap

Elizabethton found the shooting touch from the outside in the second quarter as Cassey Fowler, McKendra Norris, and Shell drained the bottom out of the net from beyond the arc to help extend the lead to 26-20 in favor of the Lady Cyclones at the intermission.

Fowler added a pair of free throws to score five total while Morgan Headrick scored all three of her points in the stanza as well.

Seeing a double-digit advantage disappear

Coming out of the locker room, the Lady Cyclones built their lead to 10 points midway through the quarter before the Lady Chiefs made their move to close the gap to 38-32 as the horn sounded to end the third period.

Roberts dumped in four points to keep the Lady Cyclones out front while Cheyenne VanHuss drilled a trey.

Holding on for dear life

The Lady Cyclones found a battle on their hands in the final eight minutes of play as the Lady Chiefs came out with a stifling press that allowed Cherokee to battle back into contention.

With the game narrowed down to a two-point lead for the Lady Cyclones midway through the quarter, Norris tickled the twine for back-to-back treys to help her team stay in front momentarily.

Cherokee’s Harper Russell caught fire in the quarter scoring 16 of her team’s 18 points trying to will the Lady Chief’s to victory pulling her team even with the Lady Cyclones at 49-49.

Shell managed to get the ball out front of the Lady Chief press with the final seconds ticking down and raced in for a basket and the foul to move the Lady Cyclones in front by three, 52-49.

Russell made 1-of-2 from the foul line with three seconds left and the Lady Chiefs last-second chance to tie fell short to give the Lady Cyclones a 1-0 start to their new season.

By the numbers

Shell led the Lady Cyclones with 15 points in the game followed closely by Norris with 11 points. Roberts totaled eight with Abbey Townsend, VanHuss, and Fowler collected five points apiece.

Headrick closed out the scoring with three points.

Russell finished as the game-high scorer with 23. Mataylin Goins (9), Karah Alvis (7), and Hannah Collins (5) closed out the Cherokee scoring.

What the coach thought

“We didn’t do a very good job as a team and it’s on me too as I could have done a few things different with their press,” said Cyclone Lady Cyclone head coach Lucas Andrews. “We just wanted to take off dribbling and I am sure the adrenaline was rushing too.

“I probably should have run a few things differently in that little section and that’s what I just told the girls. That section was on me and all the good things were on them.

“Kaylen found a way to go and get the ball,” continued Andrews. “That pass may have been tipped, but she came out of there with it and when you get her in open court one on one, she is usually going to score.”

Up next

The Lady Cyclones will be playing a pair of games in Bristol this weekend.