Lady Cyclones escape Lady Falcons late attack

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

BY BRANDON HYDE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
The Lady Cyclones came out firing on all cylinders Tuesday night as they faced the Volunteer Lady Falcons in Church Hill, going on a 16-5 run in the first period.
Six quick points from Lina Lyon and support from Olivia Holly, Renna Lane, and Katie Lee would give Elizabethton an early advantage.  Holly would hit a three-pointer at the end of the first period as the Lady Cyclones made a statement that they came to play.
Holly provided an assist to Marlee Mathena under the basket to start out the second period with another quick Elizabethton score, putting them up another two points.
The Elizabethton orange wall of defense would prevent the Falcons from getting any kind of looks inside as the Cyclone defense was punishing early on.
The excellent rebounding, great ball movement, and overall quickness by the Lady Cyclones also contributed to their early domination.  Holly would hit another three-pointer in the second period to match her first period outside shooting only to bolster the statement they were making.
The Falcons struggled early on with off-target shots and poor rebounding but began to show a little life midway through the second period as they finally got penetration inside as they tried desperately to get themselves back in the game.
Shortly after, Veda Barton would hit a long jumper for a trey, making it 23-15 with two minutes to go in the half.  There would be a brief pause in the Falcon comeback as Lane saw some late first-half free-throw action and add to the Elizabethton lead, making it 26-15 at the break.
The Lady Falcons struck first in the second half with a quick basket to bring them within nine points of the Lady Cyclones. Elizabethton would match with an inbound after a foul call and a quick score underneath.
Jacie Begley for the Lady Falcons would be sent to the line after a foul by Elizabethton on a fast break but would fail to capitalize.  This would lead Elizabethton to their own trip to the line with Mathena hitting 1-of-2 making it 29-17 with 6:16 to go in the third.
After a fruitless Falcon possession, Lyon would take a rebound coast to coast and add two more.
After the Falcons made an attempt at a run, Lane made a great pass to Lyon inside who would somehow shift her way to the basket for another score.
Lyon would have a good night for Elizabethton leading the team with 19 points.  Turnovers by the Falcons would lead to more Cyclone scoring as Elizabethton would go up 35-21 with 2:24 to go in the third.
With less than a minute to go before the fourth period, Reiley Whitson would feed the ball to an all-alone Lee under the basket ticking off two more for the girls in orange bringing it to 40-27 at the end of the third.
Things got interesting in the fourth period as the Falcons got a quick score followed by a steal and a spin around hook shot by Barton, quickly bringing the Lady Falcons back to within nine points and giving them a little hope.
Lyon would briefly squelch the comeback with a baseline jumper, but then the Volunteers would counter with a three-pointer getting them within eight points with 5:24 to go.
This would force Elizabethton to take a 30-second timeout to regroup and regain their dominance.  Back and forth turnovers would see the Falcons take advantage as Barton was left alone under the basket for a score after a missed shot and rebound.
The Lady Falcons were slowly inching back into the game as time began to wind down.  Another Cyclone turnover would give the ball back to the Lady Falcons who would fail to take advantage – costing them dearly as Holly would hit her third three-pointer making it 45-36 with 3:24 to go.
Elizabethton ate up some clock at this point, but eventually get the basketball in the hands of Lyon who would miss a rare shot and give the ball back to the Falcons who would score, bringing them back to within seven points with 1:45 to go.
The Elizabethton crowd began to get a little testy on questionable calls with less than a minute to go.
The Lady Cyclones were a bit frazzled as an inbound went out of bounds with the score now 47-40.  Another nice move and score by Barton would give Volunteer two more points as nail-biting would commence for the Cyclone fans.
A couple of fouls and free throws would then make it 47-44 with 22 seconds remaining.
Elizabethton sailed an inbound pass half court to Whitson who would be fouled, but could not take advantage giving the ball back to the Lady Falcons who were only a three-pointer away from tying the game.
The Falcons would lose the ball on a questionable call on an inbound which would lead to Lina Lyon being fouled.  Lyon would hit two crucial free throws putting Elizabethton up 49-44 with 10 seconds to go and after a poor shot attempt by Volunteer Kendra Huff and no call, Elizabethton wrapped up the win.
Elizabethton, 49-44
Elizabethton (49)
Olivia Holly 10, Lina Lyon 19, Renna Lane 9, Marlee Mathura 5, Reiley Whitson 2, Peyton McGee 4.
Volunteers (44)
Kendra Huff 16, Elise McKinney 2, Audrey Evans 4, Jacie Begley 6, Veda Barton 16.
Elizabethton…….16  10  14   9  – 49
Volunteer………… 5  10  12  17 – 44

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