Cyclones even score with University High

Published 8:47 am Wednesday, January 22, 2020

In their first matchup of the season, Elizabethton struggled to keep University High from hitting the big bombs from beyond the three-point arc leading to a Buc win in Johnson City.
The Cyclones are starting to grow up and form a chemistry and with that bond are beginning to see success from the defensive and offensive end.
On Monday evening, the Cyclones grew a little more after building a double-digit lead, following behind, and then rallying in the final seconds to even the season series with the Bucs with a 72-70 win.
The Cyclones built a 29-18 lead at the break thanks in part to senior Nico Ashley who torched the nets for 16 first-half points. The effort was also supported by William Willocks who knocked down eight points in the half.
While the Cyclones were taking care of business offensively in the half, they were also playing outstanding defense as they held U-H’s Kaleb Meredith to only two points in the half.
The Cyclones kept up the offensive intensity during the third quarter patiently working the ball around the perimeter to find the open man and behind Jake Roberts two treys and five more points from Willocks were able to increase the lead to 13, 46-33, at the end of the third period.
What seemed to be a game in the bag took a sudden swing in the final eight minutes as Meredith starting to attack the basket like a wildcat and in a blink of an eye, the Bucs managed to take a one-point lead with around three minutes left to play.
Meredith, having being held to only five points until the fourth period started, dropped in 20 points in the period including 9-of-10 from the foul line.
Jonathan Fleenor had the opportunity to pull the Bucs even in the waning seconds after Ashley fouled Fleenor on a three-point attempt sending Ashley to the bench with five fouls and Fleenor to the line.
After calmly sinking the first of three shots, the second shot went in and rolled back out leaving the Bucs trailing by one – 71-70.
Brayden Phillips entered the game for Ashley and was fouled by the Bucs hoping to take advantage of Phillips being fresh in the game. Phillips sank the first shot but the second shot hit the rim.
With all the Cyclones back and four Bucs lined up for the shot, Phillips quickly followed his shot and grabbed to the ball to allow the Cyclones to run out the clock and take the 72-70 win, their second in as many games.
Ashley finished with a team-high 23 points to lead the Cyclones. Parker Hughes, who continues to up his game offensively, finished with 16 points in the game.
Willocks collected 15 points and Roberts 11 as the Cyclones placed four players in double figures for the contest.
Donta Earnest added five points while Phillips and Nicholas Wilson finished with one point apiece.
“I thought they were met with a lot of adversity in different ways and I thought they did a good job of responding to that,” said Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “It wasn’t easy and we didn’t do everything perfectly, but I think that they (U-H) did some of the same things.
“I think it was a mirror image of what the two teams were doing in those three quarters and I think that we just outplayed them. It was pretty even in that fourth quarter and the Meredith kid kind of went off.”
The Cyclones travel to Sullivan Central on Friday night as they get back into Three Rivers Conference play.
University High…21
The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones turned the U-H Lady Bucs every which way but loose in a 48-point spanking.
Nine Lady Cyclones scored led by senior Kaitlin Bailey who led all scorers with 18 points. Freshman guard Lina Lyon had another sparkling game with 17 points while 10 points each were recorded by Morgan Headrick and Kelsie Winters.
Maddie Fowler (4), Renna Lane (3), Cheyenne VanHuss (3), Kaylen Shell (2), and Torrie Roberts (2) closed out the scoring for Elizabethton.
Johnson led U-H with 12 points.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox