Cyclones turn up defense to trap Cougars in TRC play

Published 5:59 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

There were Cougars on the prowl inside A.L. Treadway Gymnasium on Tuesday evening with a taste for some Cyclones as front running Elizabethton had another team looking to end the Cyclones perfect conference run.

Central was making life hard for Elizabethton taking a five-point lead into the fourth period, but the Cyclones tightened the defense putting the noose over the Cougars neck to close out the game for a big 49-43 win in Three Rivers Conference action.

Playing into the Cougars paws

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The first half was played out just the way that Central wanted the game to be played as the Cougar defense was playing in-your-shorts, man-to-man defense which seemed to get the Cyclones out of sync.

Elizabethton managed to wiggle out to a low-scoring 22-19 advantage by intermission. Nico Ashley and Carter Everett collected six points each to lead the Cyclones in the first half.

Evan Perkins also scored five points to help Elizabethton move out front.

Central was paced in the first 16 minutes by Caleb Rose with six points with two treys.

Cougars claw to the front

Central just wouldn’t go away and finally managed to build a five-point lead as the third quarter came to an end taking a 34-29 edge.

Ben Williams led the surge scoring 7 points for Central. The Cougars also received a trey from Caden Duncan while Rose also scored three points.

Elizabethton was kept close by Perkins, Ashley, and Everett scored a field goal apiece to lead the Cyclones.

Down and dirty defensively

Elizabethton is very proud of its defense and the Cyclones put that same defense on showcase in the final eight minutes of play allowing the Cougars only nine points in the frame while pouring it on offensively to finish with 20 to secure the win.

Ashley set the tone with 8 points down the stretch while Perkins recorded

six points. Ashley was also pivotal on defense as he used his height and arm length to frustrate the Cougar inbounds play.

A look at the books

Ashley finished the contest with 16 points while Perkins was close behind with 13 points to show the way for the Cyclones.

Everett and Eric Wilson scored eight points apiece for Elizabethton while Bryson Rollins and Parker Hughes contributed two points each.

Rose scored 11 points and Ben Williams added ten points to lead Central in the loss.

Honeycutt takes a deep breath.

“I think our intensity up front on that press was just big for us,” said Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “We had multiple guys up there in Bryson, Parker, and Evan with all three kind of moving out and rotating to the spots.

“They came down and rushed some shots and I thought that was the difference where we got a few turnovers and few run outs and layups that sealed it for us.

“We struggled in half court tonight and executed much better in the second half. I didn’t think we executed poorly in the first half, I just think that we didn’t make the shots. I thought we moved the ball really well.”

Coming up next

When a local sportswriter picked Johnson County fifth in pre-season, Honeycutt was the first to point out that wasn’t a good pick.

Honeycutt said that a very good Longhorn team comes to town Friday night for another highly important conference game for his Cyclone squad.

Tipoff will be 8 pm.