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Jr. Lady Cyclones defeat Robinson in a spirited contest

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Anytime the Robinson and T.A. Dugger Jr. Lady Cyclones get together, one can always count on one thing – a very competitive and spirited contest as both teams have gone at each other for a long time especially when tournament time comes.

it wasn’t anything different on Thursday night inside the T.A. Dugger Gym as after a tight first half of play, the Jr. Lady Cyclones turned up the defensive heat in the second half and made the best on the offensive end to build a 21-point lead before winning by 12 points, 56-44.

Michelle Shields and Andrea Flores scored all but five points for the Jr. Lady Cyclones in the first half as Flores knocked down 13 points while Shields connected on three treys to record 11 first-half points.

Aubrey Cole recorded a three and Kayelyn Nave added a deuce as well in the half.

Ashlyn Hickman scored 21 of her game-high 31 in the first half to keep Robinson in the contest after the first half of play.

The T.A. Dugger defense made adjustments at the half and dug in their heels allowing Robinson only one opportunity on the offensive end and then raced down the court to find an open player for a score.

Flores scored seven in the third quarter along with two more treys from Cole to help build the big advantage. Jamira Smalls also played a big role from her post position recording four in the quarter while pulling down several rebounds.

Jr. Lady Cyclone head coach Matt Fox used several bench players down the stretch to protect his starters from injury and give his younger players an opportunity for floor time.

Flores led all scorers for TAD with 20 in the contest. Shield reached double figures with 13 as did Cole who tallied 11 points.

Nave recorded eight points with Smalls logging four.

“Our girls have to understand that we have to come together as a team,” Fox said after the contests. “We have a long ways to go and we all know that with Robinson, some of these girls play travel ball with the girls from Robinson so there is a lot of tension of course because they are together quite a bit outside of school ball.

“I think that our girls know what we are capable of and we are reaching toward that. When we stay focused and create team play, then we can really get going.

“It is a rivalry. When anybody sees orange and black, they give it everything they have got. I think it’s a combination of we always get the best out of everybody we play and too these girls play outside together in travel ball.”

The Jr. Lady Cyclones ran their overall record to 8-2 overall and 7-2 in the conference with the victory.