Cyclones lasso ‘Horns in pair of TRC showdowns

Published 12:46 am Thursday, January 9, 2020

MOUNTAIN CITY – Although both Cyclone head coaches Lucas Andrews and Lucas Honeycutt would eventually say that the wins weren’t that pretty, the end result was a victory for both teams as Elizabethton took the scenic trip to Mountain City and worked and scraped their way to a pair of important Three Rivers Conference wins.
Johnson Co. ..57
The night’s first contest was a seesaw battle that was entertaining from the opening tip to the final horn as both teams butted heads throughout the contest with neither team managing to break away to a comfortable lead in the contest.
Elizabethton established a 17-14 lead at the first horn and managed to hold onto a slim 29-28 edge at the break as Coach Leon Tolley’s team simply wouldn’t go away.
Seniors Kaitlin Bailey and Kaylen Shell set the tone early on as both dropped in six points in the opening half. Lina Lyon, Renna Lane, and Torrie Roberts each sank a trey to help the Lady Cyclones seize the lead.
Emmy Miller did all she could to keep her Lady Longhorns in contention as she sizzled the cotton in the opening quarter for 10 points. Taylor Parsons and Abby Cornett played solidly with six points each in the first 16 minutes of play.
It was anyone’s game in the second half as each time one team scored the other had an immediate answer. The Lady Cyclones, however, managed to hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the all-important conference victory.
Bailey finished with 13 points hitting 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to help pave the way to the win. Shell finished with 10 points and reached a career milestone with two free throws late in the fourth quarter collecting her 1,000th point.
Morgan Headrick hit 10 points as well for double-figure scoring.
Three Lady ‘Horns reached double figures led by Miller with a game-high 18 points. Taylor Cox finished the night with 14 points while Parsons totaled 12 points.
Lady Cyclone head coach Lucas Andrews wasn’t thrilled about his team played but was happy to bring the win back home to Elizabethton.
“We probably didn’t deserve to win the game,” Andrews said after the game. “Johnson County played hard and they always do against us. They play well at home and did a lot of good things.
“We didn’t rebound well but like I just told the girls to be successful you have got to have some ugly wins to make you think about what you have to go back and fix and we were able to win in a tough environment.”
On the flip side, Lady ‘Horn coach Leon Tolley realized that his team had won everywhere but where it counted the most – on the scoreboard.
“Right now we are not in it for moral victories,” Tolley stated. “On the whole break, we worked on focus because I told them a play you take off in the first quarter effects you down at the end of the game in the fourth.
“Twice, at the end of the second and at the end of the third, we took a play off and gave them a bucket at the buzzer and that was five points. Those five points were the difference in the ball game.”
Elizabethton, 60-57
Elizabethton (60)
Lina Lyon 8, Kelsie Winters 9, McKendra Norris 2, Lane 3, Headrick 10, Bailey 13, Shell 10, Cheyenne VanHuss 2, Roberts 3.
Johnson County (57)
Miller 18, Parsons 12, Cornett 6, Cox 14, Sadie Stout 7.
Elizabethton     17   12   16  15 – 60
Johnson Co.     14   14   15  14 – 57
3-pt goals: JC 2 (Cornett, Stout). EHS 6 (Lyon 2, Winters, Lane, Headrick, Roberts).
Johnson Co. ..43
To look at the final score, it would be easy to assume that the Cyclones dominated in the game but in fact were able to stop a ‘Horn stampede in the final three minutes of play thanks to a pair of treys from Jake Roberts and one from Jordan Haynes to secure the win.
The contest was a very physically challenging contest as both teams battled it out to secure the Three Rivers Conference win as Elizabethton started the game out ominously with a technical on the bench for a pre-game dunk on Nico Ashley and would feature a pair of technicals on Longhorn players in the second half.
In between the starting tip and the final horn, however, was a game that wasn’t settled until late as the Cyclones rode an 18-point effort from Ashley and Roberts and Parker Hughes contributing with 11 and 10 points respectively in the win.
Hughes must have felt like he was back on the football field as he was pounded throughout the contest as he took the ball straight to the hoop on several occasions.
The turning point in the contest came in the third period when the Cyclones held the Longhorns to only three points while scoring 13 points of their own.
Lucas Phillips led the ‘Horns with 13 points in the contest while Darren Cunningham tossed in 11 in a losing cause.
“We started out the game with a technical and that’s not a good way to start things,” Honeycutt stated after the game. “I thought we did a pretty good job of getting ahead and getting space. I think that was the key.
“I think we settled down a little bit in the second half not jumping around as much. I think late in the game we made some big shots and kept attacking the basket better than we have before, not where we want to be but better than before.”
Elizabethton, 54-43
Elizabethton (54)
Hughes 10, Donta Earnest 4, Roberts 11, Ashley 18, Jordan Haynes 8, William Willocks 3.
Johnson Co. (43)
Phillips 13, Cunningham 11, Michael Oxentine 9, Preston Greer 2, Clayton Cross 8.
Elizabethton    11   10   13   20 – 54
Johnson Co.     7   13     3   20 – 43
3-pt goals: JC 2 (Phillips, Cross). EHS 4 (Roberts 2, Ashley, Haynes).

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