Cyclones fall to Devils on poor shooting night… Lady Cyclones hold off UC rally to win

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, February 4, 2021

ERWIN – On a night the shots weren’t falling for the Elizabethton Cyclones – finishing two-for-20 from beyond the arc – they fell victim to a fired-up Unicoi County squad 46-35 on Wednesday evening in Three Rivers Conference basketball.
“When you have to shoot that many threes that will get you beat,” Cyclones head coach Lucas Honeycutt said. “In the fourth quarter we had to being behind, but Unicoi County played hard and they just outplayed us.
“We didn’t stick to the game plan and when we had adjustments orchestrated they weren’t followed.”
The Blue Devils (14-5, 6-4 TRC) led the entire way jumping out to an 11-6 first-period advantage and extending to a 29-20 halftime lead behind nine points from guard Ty Johnson and six points from forward Robbie O’Dell.
EHS guard Jake Roberts scored nine first-half points and finished with a game-high 15 points but his shot selection and accuracy were not there on this night. Roberts put up 15 treys and was good on just one.
Cyclone shooting woes continued into the third period in which EHS (15-5, 7-3) shot just two-for-12 (16.6 percent) and UC went into the final period holding a 40-27 lead. Bryson Peterson scored eight of his team-high 13 points in the stanza for the Devils.
“It’s frustrating,” Honeycutt said. “They played harder than us, they wanted it more than we did. We didn’t follow our shots and there were a number of times we talked about doing things differently and we came out of the huddle and didn’t execute.”
EHS will host top-ranked Sullivan East on Friday which is also Senior Night as the season winds down to a precious few games before tournament time.
Unicoi Co. ..37
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively with neither scoring in the first five minutes of the contest as defensive pressure was applied on both sides.
UC (11-11, 4-6) led 5-4 after one period but the Lady Cyclones (14-7, 7-2) got hot with guard Lina Lyon scoring nine of her team-high 14 points in the first half and EHS took a 19-11 lead into the halftime break.
The Lady Devils rallied in the third period to cut the Cyclones lead to 29-25 going into the final period. EHS had a double-digit 21-11 lead at one point in the third period but guard Tenley Holt hit a pair of deuce buckets and Caroline Podvin hit a trey to help ignite the Devil rally.
Senior guard Torrie Roberts hit a trey to open the fourth quarter to give EHS some breathing room but UC guard Allie Lingerfelt answered for the Devils with a deuce. EHS hit back to back buckets from Roberts and Lyon for a 37-29 Cyclones lead.
A trey from Lingerfelt – who finished with a game-high 18 points – got UC to within 37-32 with 2:45 remaining in regulation.
Over the next minute and a half, the Devils outscored EHS 5-1 to make it a 38-37 contest before Morgan Headrick dropped in a pair of free throws and the Cyclones held on despite a frantic effort by the Devils over the last 43 seconds.
“We knew it would be a hard-fought game,” Lady Cyclones head coach Lucas Andrews said. “They played East well on Friday, ended up beating East on Saturday so we knew they were confident and it would be a dog fight.
“We have to make our free throws and that is not characteristic of our team so we will work on that. We have to know who we are guarding and not give up easy fast-break baskets.”

Boys Varsity
Unicoi Co. 46-35
EHS (35)
Roberts 15, Phillips 3, Willocks 11, Stephens 2, Carter 2, Mitchell 2.
Unicoi Co (46)
T. Johnson 12, Peterson 13, O’Dell 9, Slagle 7, Swinehart 2, Barcell 3.

Elizabethton 6 14 7 8 – 35
Unicoi Co 11 18 11 6 – 46
3-point goals: E 2 (Roberts, Phillips), UC 4 (O’Dell 3, Barcell).

Girls Varsity
EHS 40-37
EHS (40)
Lyon 14, Norris 2, Lane 2, Headrick 12, Roberts 10.
Unicoi Co (37)
Holt 7, Podvin 5, Lingerfelt 18, Osborne 2, Bennett 5.

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Elizabethton 4 15 10 11 – 40
Unicoi Co 5 6 14 12 – 37
3-point goals: E 3 (Roberts 2, Lyon), UC 2 (Podvin, Lingerfelt).