Lady Warriors bring Lady Cyclones revenge tour to screeching halt

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones were coming into the game on a two-game winning streak over conference opponents and were hoping to make it three in a row against the Happy Valley Lady Warriors on what was being called the revenge tour on opponents the second cycle through the Three Rivers Conference.

With a lackluster offensive effort by the Lady Cyclones plus some strong defensive play from the Lady Warriors, Happy Valley managed to halt the winning streak with a 43-29 victory over Elizabethton on homecoming night for ‘Betsy.

Offense not in the cards

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

After an entertaining first quarter where Happy Valley managed to build a 16-13 lead, neither team could throw a school bus into the ocean in the second period as both teams managed 4 points each as the Lady Warriors went to the locker room up by 20-17.

Elizabethton actually was in a position to regroup and take the lead as the Lady Warriors top two post players in Shalyn Whitson and Tiana Long found themselves in foul trouble early in the game as Whitson sat for most of the second and third quarter with 3 fouls.

Long managed to stay away from picking up her third foul but was limited to her aggressive attack on the rim due to the foul issue.

Game up for grabs after three quarters

Even as poorly as Elizabethton played offensively, the game was hanging in the balance at the end of the three-quarters of play as Happy Valley still maintained a slim lead, 32-27.

With a big turnout filling John Treadway Gym, fans were on the edge of their seats to see how the game would eventually play out.

Elizabethton pulls a Houdini

With opportunities available, the Lady Cyclones couldn’t do more than pull a Houdini as they disappeared down the stretch while the Lady Warriors started to flex their muscles to put the game on ice as the final 8 minutes played out.

Happy Valley sank 7-of-9 free throws and was led by Whitson who scored 7 points in the final quarter.

Breaking down the leaders

The Lady Warriors were led by their senior leader Adrienne Henegar who scored a game-high 17 points. With her fourth-quarter output, Whitson wasn’t too far behind as she totaled 13 points while managing her foul trouble.

Other Lady Warriors reaching the scoring column were Long with 8 points, Olivia Absher 3 points, and Bailey Ball with 2 points.

Elizabethton received 11 points from post player Morgan Headrick to lead her team. Torrie Roberts and Kaylen Shell dropped in 6 points apiece in the defeat.

Cheyenne VanHuss and Kelsie Winters totaled 3 points each.

Gouge speaks on defense

“We pride ourselves on defense,” said Lady Warrior head coach Thomas Gouge. “We’ve had great games where we have held people to 30 to 35 points defensively and that’s what we did tonight.

“We broke down a few times and we have to clean that up and fix that, but when you hold someone like Elizabethton to 29 you are going to have a good shot at winning.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to beat Elizabethton because of the great tradition that they have had. Coach Andrews does a great job with them and it’s always great when a small county school can beat the larger city school.”

Not a chance at

winning with 29

“We missed too many layups,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Lucas Andrews. “They are a good, physical team and you have to make the two footers and the easy little chip shots to win those rivalry games I guess you can say and we didn’t do that tonight.

“That was part of the game plan in making Shalyn (Whitson) play defense and see what the referees gave us and it played into our favor when she got three fouls. We don’t take advantage of it coming into the third when the coach sits her and we just didn’t execute.”