Girls Region 1-AA  Lady Cyclones turn up the heat in the second half, 54-29

Published 12:31 am Tuesday, March 3, 2020

One of the benefits of winning the District 1-AA title for the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones was the fact they were able to host the first round of the Region 1-AA tournament inside the friendly confines of John Treadway Gym on Friday night.
Welcoming the Cumberland Gap Lady Panthers to town, both teams came out slower than a thick flow of aged molasses with possibly early jitters knowing what was at stake with the game playing a large role.
The Lady Panthers managed to do just a little more than the Lady Cyclones in the first half as Cumberland Gap took a three-point lead to the locker room, 16-13.
Abigail Garner and Kayli Hinckley scored six points apiece in the half to propel the Lady Panthers out front.
Kaylen Shell’s five first-half points kept the Lady Cyclones close. Kaitlin Bailey netted four points as well.
The second half was an entirely different story as the message preached at the half by Lady Cyclone head coach Lucas Andrews was received with open ears by his team as the defensive intensity was turned up three-fold resulting in Elizabethton taking full control in the final 16 minutes of play.
Holding the visiting Lady Panthers to only 13 points in the final half, the Lady Cyclones finally starting to knock down shots to record 41 second-half points.
Seniors Shell and Bailey led the charge scoring 12 points apiece in the Lady Cyclones victory. Morgan Headrick played a contributing role by knocking down 10 points.
The Lady Cyclones also got six points each from Lina Lyon and Renna Lane with Cheyenne VanHuss and Torrie Roberts draining big treys to spur the Elizabethton run.
Maddie Fowler added a deuce.
Only three Lady Panthers scored led by Nevaeh Kerns with 12 points. Hinckley finished with nine points while Garner finished with eight points.
Shell said after the game that the difference in the second half for the Lady Cyclones came down to rebounding.
“I think that rebounding and looking for the open girl changed it,” said Shell. “I don’t think we were keeping our head up like we should. We were just not making smart plays and weren’t playing within our game.”
Head coach Lucas Andrews felt like Cumberland Gap had put together a pretty solid plan coming into the road contest.
“They were big and physical and they guard really well,” stated Andrews. “Our game is to get to the rim and work it back out and if you don’t make the shots outside, it doesn’t open the inside game up either.
“They are a good team and well-coached and had a good game plan against us. They bodied up. It could be first-round game jitters and you just have to get it out of your system.”
The Lady Cyclones faced off with South Greene Monday night at Grainger High School with a regional championship berth and sectional game in the balance.

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