Failing at the board: Lady Cyclones falter after South dominates offensive glass

Published 1:50 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

When a team gives their opponent an opportunity to take control of a basketball game by taking care of one of the most emphasized fundamentals of the game and that team fails to respond, the end result will most of the time result in a defeat.

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Such was the case Monday evening inside John Treadway Gym as the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones built a 7-point advantage and then failed to close out the game by allowing the South Lady Rebels to capitalize on the offensive glass to take a 47-39 victory.

Looking good early in the game

As what has been almost like the movie Groundhog Day for Lady Cyclone head coach Lucas Andrews, his team came out very competitive in the first half as ‘Betsy built a 21-14 lead on the backbone of a very tough 2-3 zone defense that was frustrating the Lady Rebels.

The lead came on the strength of 6 treys as Kaylen Shell drained three, Torrie Roberts buried 2, and Cassey Fowler swished one home.

The Lady Rebels launch their attack

South wasted little time in turning the tide after the break outscoring the Lady Cyclones 17-9 to make it almost a deadlock, 31-30, in favor of South heading to the final 8 minutes.

That was when the wheels came off the wagon for Elizabethton as South handled the Cyclone press and turned two missed free throws into a field goal and a trey to pull away down the stretch to take the 8-point win.

Elizabethton still trailed only by 4 points with under 2 minutes to play but just couldn’t seem to get the ship righted as time got away from them.

Taking a look at the scorebook

Shell led the Lady Cyclones (3-7, 4-16) in scoring with 13 points in the contest. Roberts played well collecting 9 points.

McKendra Norris and Morgan Headrick finished the game with 5 points each while Abbey Townsend dropped in 4 points.

Fowler closed out the scorebook with her 3 points.

Leslie scored 22 points to lead South (5-4, 15-10) while Harris added 15 points in the win.

Andrews speaks on team’s effort

“Rebounding is what cost us in my opinion,” said Andrews after the contest. “I may go back and watch the film and say something different, but I think in just the running stats we gave up 10 or 11 offensive rebounds including two huge ones when we were down 4 points.

“We were down 4 and put them on the line and the foul shot shooter was like a 50 percent shooter and we get a chance to rebound with a chance to come down and cut it down to two or one and we don’t execute on the boards.

“There was one word that I wrote on the board before the game and it was rebounding.”

Still a chance to help themselves

Elizabethton has a big game at home with Unicoi Co. on Friday with a chance to improve their seeding heading into the district tournament.