Playing for the title… Jr. Lady Cyclones torpedo Jr. Lady Vikings to earn a berth
BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
KINGSPORT – The T.A. Dugger Jr. Lady Cyclones started their Area 1 basketball semifinal game against the Vance Jr. Lady Vikings like a roll of Charmin bathroom tissue – very soft.
However, by the time that head coach Matt Fox gave his team a stern encouragement, especially coming out of the halftime break, the Jr. Lady Cyclones came out like a torpedo shot from a submarine to sink the Jr. Lady Vikings, 40-18.
At the opening tip, the Jr. Lady Cyclones just couldn’t find a good offensive rhythm as they had good looks at the basket but just couldn’t sink their shots.
Vance grabbed a quick 9-5 lead at the first stop due to lackadaisical effort.
The message that was given to the ladies of TAD from Fox sunk in quickly as the Jr. Lady Cyclones finally hit their stride to roll into the locker room leading 21-14.
Fox’s one-two punch of Andrea Flores and Michelle Shields paced the offense in the half as Flores recorded nine points in the half and Shields six.
Both teams struggled offensively in the third period as TAD just barely held off the Jr. Lady Vikings in a low-scoring affair 8-5 as Flores added five more points to her tally and Lilly McDuffie tickled the twine for three points.
The Jr. Lady Cyclones had another solid fourth quarter to leave no doubt as they outscored Vance 11-1 to take the 22-point victory and gain another shot at Liberty Bell in the Area 1 Championship.
Flores led the Jr. Lady Cyclones with a game-high 17 points. Shields closed out with nine but did a great job of handling the Vance press.
Lilly McDuffie finished with four points while Peyton McGee and Kayelyn Nave totaled three points apiece.
Aubrey Cole and Jamira Smalls both totaled a deuce in the win.
Chase Wolfenbarger scored six points to pace the Jr. Lady Vikings.
“We were soft in our passes and it wasn’t that we were making wrong decisions, it was just like we were second-guessing on getting the ball inside, and with that second-guessing the passes were soft and we weren’t strong inside to get the ball back out,” said Fox after the contest.
“Defensively wise I thought we were good but on offense, we were a little sluggish. These girls worked hard all season battling over COVID and it’s a special group. We have a good opportunity of going down the road.”