Tough night on court for Jr. Cyclones Boys, Girls end season in consolation games of Area 1 AAA tourney

Published 12:19 am Saturday, February 1, 2020




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KINGSPORT – It was a hard way to end the season for both the T.A. Dugger boys and girls basketball teams on Thursday in the consolation games of the Area 1 Class AAA tourney being played at John Sevier in Kingsport.

The Jr. Cyclone girls were under the gun before their contest even began with five girls out due to the flu including three starters and their sixth man off the bench.

While on the boys’ side, the Jr. Cyclones fell short on a buzzer-beater at the hands of the Vance Jr. Vikings.



T.A. Dugger..27

The scoreboard didn’t tell the story as the short-handed Jr. Lady Cyclones battled with all their heart before falling to the Greeneville Jr. Greene Devils.

Falling behind 12-5 at the end of one quarter of play, the Jr. Lady Cyclones continued to fight through the adversity but just couldn’t get any closer than three points the rest of the contest.

Michelle Shields totaled 19 points in the season finale for the Jr. Lady Cyclones.

Marley Lewis connected on a trey for three points while Aubrey Cole and Abbie Crigger totaled two points apiece.

Lillie McDuffie hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe while battling hard on the rebounding end of the game for Coach Matt Fox’s Jr. Lady Cyclones.

“The girls played hard,” said Fox after the contest. “Losing wasn’t on anyone’s mind. I hate that our season ended the way it did.

“Shields kept leading us on offense and the eighth graders left everything on the floor. I couldn’t ask for a better finish.

“I am proud of them. For us to overcome sickness having some key players out, we had others that stepped up and I am proud of them.”



T.A. Dugger….39

It was another one of those crazy matchups between the two teams as in four meetings this season, the Jr. Cyclones have only managed to win one game in contests that played out almost as similar as this one did.

The Jr. Cyclones fell behind 10-0 to start the game and wasn’t able to pull even to the 2:20 mark of the third quarter.

From that point on, it was a see-saw battle between the two teams exchanging the lead on several occasions before the buzzer beat ended the fray in Vance’s favor.

Will Churchill paced the Jr. Cyclones with 14 points, seven rebounds, and four steals in the contest.

Mason Ball added double-figure scoring with 10 points while cleaning the glass for five rebounds.

Zackery Bates dropped in five points and added two rebounds. Jeriah Griffin played in foul trouble for much of the contest but managed to add four points and three rebounds.

Luke Whaley (3 points, 2 steals) and Eli Blevins (3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals) closed out the scoring ledger for the Jr. Cyclones.

Vance was led by Hutson with 10 points.

“We had opportunities and they did as well,” said Jr. Cyclone head coach Barry Johnson. “That was the same game that we have played against them four times now.

“We could easily be 4-0 against them but unfortunately we are 1-3 and they are moving on.

“I just appreciate our guys for effort. They get down and we made mistakes but we kept battling and I am proud of them for that.”

**Note – Michelle Shields and Will Churchill were named to the Area 1 Class AAA regional team.