Cyclones drop heart breaker at Volunteer

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022

BY BRANDON HYDE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
CHURCH HILL – In a key Upper Lakes Conference game, the Elizabethton Cyclones were looking to pick up a big win on the road at Volunteer but when the final horn sounded, the Falcons managed to stay atop the roost in the conference standings.
The Falcons staved off a Cyclone charge down the stretch to take the win, 62-58.
Volunteer took an early lead with the Cyclones navigating most of the game from a catch-up position.
The Falcons would jump out to an early 6-0 lead just a couple of minutes into the game.  A miss by the Falcons would lead to a Bryson Rollins rebound who would get it to Nate Stephens on a nice pass bringing the Cyclones to within two.
Scoring by both teams again would make the score 8-6 with 4:58 to go in the first period.  Elizabethton would have good ball movement and plenty of opportunities, but the ball somehow always found its way in and out of the basket.
This plus a bit of sloppy play by the Cyclones would see them struggle in the first period.  An early three-pointer by Falcon’s Jollin Harrison would only add to their troubles as Elizabethton found themselves down by five as the period wound down.
A little bit of saving grace would come from a couple of late period free throws by Rollins.  Another nice shot by Jollin Harrison and overall better ball movement would put the Falcons up 17-9 at this point.
Elizabethton would strike first in the second period with Seth Carter hitting Nicholas Wilson underneath for a quick score, but the Falcons would come back with a three-pointer with the score now 20-11 early in the third.
Wilson would duplicate his earlier shot after an assist by Bryce VanHuss pulling Elizabethton to within six points after the shot and an earlier 1-of-2 on a foul.
Jake Roberts entered the game and immediately went to work with a steal and a quick score on a hesitation move under the basket.  This would be countered by a Falcons score making it 22-16 with 5:45 to go in the half.
Free throws and a three-pointer by Elizabethton along with another Falcon score would bring the game closer for the Cyclones with a score of 24-21 close to midway through the second.
Both teams would struggle on offense at this point…especially Elizabethton who couldn’t seem to buy a shot.  Rebounding by Cole Hooven and Cason Christian would prove to be instrumental at keeping Elizabethton at bay with your halftime score 33-23 with a late burst by Volunteer putting them up by 10.
Elizabethton came out strong in the second half, led by an early three by Roberts. More pressure by the Cyclone defense would help turn the tide a bit as Elizabethton would cut the lead to 36-28 with 5:18 to go in the third period.
After a Falcon’s score, a VanHuss three would then make it 39-31 as Elizabethton kept fighting their way back against a stingy Volunteer defense.  Bad luck at the basket would continue to plague the Cyclones with balls looking like they would go in, but bounce out at the last second.
A Roberts turnaround jumper and then a steal by Elizabethton would lead to VanHuss at the line who would sink both shots, pulling Elizabethton to within three points with 2:52 to go in the third period.
A Falcons miss and Wison inside score would then get the Cyclones to within one point of the Falcons.  It looked as if the tide was turning as Elizabethton began to turn up the pressure on defense even more, but Elijah Rogers was able to sink a three for the Falcons, despite the pressure, letting a little air out of the Cyclone comeback.
A questionable charging foul on Wilson brought out the boos by Elizabethton as things continued to swing in the favor of the Falcons as the fourth period progressed.
Garrison Barrett scored underneath followed by a three-pointer shortly after that only making a difficult situation even worse.  The third period would come to a close with the Falcons up 49-41.
The fourth period started out with Seth Carter getting a quick score bringing the Cyclones within six, but it would be short-lived as Volunteer came right back with a score.
Carter was on fire and was doing his best to keep the Cyclones in the game with a beautiful spin and acrobatic move to the basket, making the score 51-45 with 6:05 to go.
The next few minutes saw Elizabethton once again plagued with shots that were close, but no cigar.  It would end up being their downfall as too many missed shots would keep them from making a comeback in the fourth.
Elizabethton came within five points after a pair of Carter scores who continued to have a fantastic fourth period.  A Falcon foul on Carter would send him to the line where he would bring Elizabethton to within three points after sinking both shots.
With only 30 seconds left, Elizabethon was left to resort to fouls to try and even it up, but the Falcons proved to be too resilient at the line, holding their lead and taking the win with a final score of 62-58.
Carter had a stellar fourth period and a great game overall with 18 total on the night. Barrett led the Volunteers with 22.
Volunteer, 62-58
Volunteer (62)
Brandin Minton 9, Jollin Harrison 12, Andrew Knittel 12, Elijah Rogers 3, Jon Wes Lovelace 2, Garrison Barrett 22, Cason Christian 2
Elizabethton (58)
Jake Roberts 16, Bryson Rollins 5, Nate Stephens 3, Seth Carter 18, Bryce VanHuss 5, Nicholas Wilson 11.
Volunteer……..17  16  16  13 – 62
Elizabethton….  9  14  18  17 – 58

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