Lady Cyclones steam past Unicoi Co.
Published 8:55 am Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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BY BRANDON HYDE
The Lady Cyclones took care of business in a big way Tuesday night. After a long weekend, Elizabethton didn’t miss a beat and got in a rhythm early as they faced Unicoi Co. at home.
The girls took an early nine-point lead midway through the first period and never looked back taking a 62-41 victory.
A three-pointer at the 4:56 mark by Renna Lane is what catapulted them to the early lead. A couple of minutes later, Lina Lyon hit a short jumper from the key and extend their lead by another five points by this time.
Reiley Whitson then zipped the ball over to Olivia Holly for a three-pointer making it 17-0. Elizabethton hit a total of five three-pointers in the first period alone.
The Lady Blue devils wouldn’t get on the board until a free throw late in the period finally gave them a single point. Elizabethton was hot from the perimeter and scored 21 points…17 unanswered until the Lady Blue Devils finally came to life and scored six before the period would end.
Early in the second period, it looked as if Unicoi was going to somewhat get back in the game, but those dreams were dashed as Whitson hit a baseline three-pointer to put Elizabethton up 24-8.
Elizabethton’s speed, excellent ball-handling, and ample rebounding on both ends would continue to give Unicoi problems. The Lady Blue Devils struggled to make even easy shots as they were off target throughout the first half.
The name of the game for Elizabethton was Lina Lyon using her speed to take looks early on. If there was an opportunity, she would take it as she scored big in the first half this way. If by some chance nothing was open underneath, she would use her uncanny ability to get the ball where it needed to go.
This seemed to be Elizabethton’s plan and they executed it brilliantly. 12 of Lyon’s points came in the first half alone as she torched the Blue Devil defense. The inside game would open up for Elizabethton in the second period after a first-period blitz from the perimeter.
The Lady Cyclones went up 44-14 at halftime.
Elizabethton started out a bit sloppy in the third period as the Lady Blue Devils came out swinging with an early three-pointer. This scenario, however, was short-lived as the off-target shooting came back to plague Unicoi.
Even when the Blue Devils found themselves uncontested under the basket, they simply couldn’t get the ball in. In contrast, Elizabethton did find themselves with opportunities under the basket as Whitson fired bullets from almost half-court to wide open teammates…and Elizabethton didn’t miss.
Marlee Mathena found herself as the beneficiary of these rocket passes from Whitson on more than one occasion. With just over two minutes to go in the third period, Unicoi hit two three-pointers back-to-back, but by this time the damage had already been done as the Lady Cyclones had a handy lead going into the fourth.
Elizabethton found themselves with a nearly 30-point lead going into the fourth period. This despite a relatively low-key second half from the Lady Cyclones.
Whitson struck again early in the fourth as she launched a pass from nearly half-court to a wide-open Katie Lee underneath. Whitson would make a habit of this in the fourth period as she continued to fire half-court passes past an unsuspecting Blue Devil defense.
Unicoi had their best scoring in the fourth period with 13, but again, it was simply too little too late. The Lady Cyclones would eventually run down the clock with a half-minute to go and kindly put the Blue Devils out of their misery.
Lina Lyon led the Lady Cyclones with 14 points overall followed by Oliva Holly with 11 and Katie Lee with 10 to round out the big three of the night for Elizabethton.
Olivia Holly 11, Lina Lyon 14, Kayelyn Nave 4, Renna Lane 7, Marlee Mathena 8, Maddie Fowler 5, Reiley Whitson 3, Katie Lee 10.
Haley Rush 5, Hannah Shelton 3, Jocelyn Metcalf 6, Allie Lingerfelt 13, Abigail Rush 3, Faith Bennett 5, Olivia Bailey 6.
Elizabethton….21 23 10 8 – 62
Unicoi…………. 6 8 12 15 – 41