Roberts big night helps Cyclones trip East… Lady Cyclones fall to Patriots
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
Junior guard Jake Roberts scored a game-high 46 points to help lead the Elizabethton Fighting Cyclones to a 79-72 win over top-ranked and previously unbeaten in Three Rivers Conference play, Sullivan East.
“It was great to bounce back against the number one team in the conference,” Roberts said. “After that game against Unicoi County to win a game like this is awesome. When you play Sullivan East you can never let your guard down. Any lead can be gone like that (snaps fingers).”
EHS (16-5, 8-3) came out hot with Roberts knocking down a pair of treys and post Nicholas Wilson adding six points and rebounding well as the Cyclones built a 16-8 first period advantage.
The Cyclones added to that lead in taking a 33-22 halftime lead with Roberts scoring 17 first-half points, but that was just the beginning for this talented youngster.
With Roberts hitting three more treys in the third period the Cyclones went into the fourth quarter with a seemingly insurmountable 54-40 lead.
Sullivan East (17-6, 9-1) came roaring out of the gate in the final stanza going on a 16-3 run led by forward Dylan Bartley who scored 13 of his team-high 30 points.
The Patriots cut the EHS lead to 57-56 with over four minutes remaining in regulation after a pair of free throws from Bartley.
Seth Carter knocked down a pair of pressure-packed free throws to give the Cyclones a 59-56 lead and a bit of breathing room. Roberts completed a three-point play and Carter knocked down a deuce around a bucket from Bartley to make it a 64-58 contest, but things were far from settled.
A second three-point play and two more free throws from Roberts gave EHS a 69-59 lead with 2:08 left on the clock. Ethan Bradford then swished a three-ball and Bartley added two free throws to cut the Cyclones lead to five at 69-64 and Patriots post Clayton Ivester added two more clutch free throws before Roberts answered with a deuce.
That was the last basket made as the rest of the game was played at the charity stripe with EHS connecting on six-of-eight down the stretch.
“We knew East was going to come with it,” Cyclones head coach Lucas Honeycutt said. “They are the top team in the conference for a reason. We need games like this, we like to win, but we needed a tough game before the tournament.
“Not that we haven’t had tough games. We come off our lowest offensive game of the season against Unicoi, but the kids didn’t panic, they came back, and Jake was really special tonight. I thought that Nicolas Wilson got us off to a good start and helped set the tone.”
Wilson scored 15 points and had 11 boards for a double-double and Carter added eight. For East Logan Murray had 10 points to back Bartley’s effort.
Sullivan East 53
A slow first half offensively put the Lady Cyclones in a hole they couldn’t climb out of as they scored just 14 first-half points. East (17-4, 7-1) led 28-14 at the half with Haley Grubb scoring 13 of her game-high 18 points in the first half.
“We didn’t play very good defense and didn’t do a good job executing the game plan,” Lady Cyclones head coach Lucas Andrews said. “We had some foul trouble but I thought our subs came in and gave us good minutes but we just didn’t execute tonight.”
The third period was a dead heat with both teams scoring 13 points as East took a 41-27 advantage into the fourth period. EHS (14-8, 7-3) was only able to shave two points off the Lady Patriots lead in the stanza with guard Lina Lyon scoring a team-high 15 points and post Morgan Headrick adding 11.
Sullivan East (72)
Bradford 9, Bartley 30, Ivester 7, Standbridge 8, Murray 10, Davis 7, Waldon 1.
Roberts 46, Van Huss 4, Willocks 6, Wilson 15, Carter 8.
Sullivan East 8 14 18 32 – 72
Elizabethton 16 17 21 25 – 79
3-point goals: SE 7 (Bradford 3, Bartley 2, Ivester, Standbridge), EHS 8 (Roberts 7, Van Huss).
Sullivan East 53-41
Sullivan East (53)
Aubrey 6, Nelson 12, Hodge 5, Hare 12, Grubb 18.
Lyon 15, Norris 2, Lane 7, Headrick 11, Roberts 3, Holly 3.
Sullivan East 14 14 13 12 – 53
Elizabethton 7 7 13 14 – 41
3-point goals: SE 4 (Aubrey 2, Hodge, Grubb), EHS 3 (Lyon 2, Roberts).