Lady Cyclones zip past Lady Grizzlies, advance to finals

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, March 1, 2022

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The Lady Cyclones got a decisive win as Elizabethton traveled to Greeneville Monday night to face the Grainger Lady Grizzlies in the Region 1- 3A tournament.
Grainger, with a record of 28-6, was a worthy opponent known for their rebounding, but Elizabethton stepped up even without the services of key defensive player Katie Lee taking a 51-42 victory.
Lina Lyon would lead the charge in a total team effort as the win advances the team to the  Region 1-3A Championship game Wednesday back in Greeneville to face the Greeneville Lady Greene Devils.
The win also assures the Lady Cyclones of a sectional contest on Saturday.
It was a tight battle in the first period as there was a bit of a three-point war between the two Maddies’ as Maddie Fowler for Elizabethton and Maddie Hurst of Grainger lit it up from long range with two treys apiece..
The Lady Cyclones barely edged out Grainger with a one-point lead, 14-13 by the end of the period.  This was a “gut check” moment for the team according to Elizabethton head coach Lucas Andrews.
Elizabethton got off to a strong start in the second period and looked as if they were going to pull away, but Grainger was able to hang tough and keep Elizabethton in their sights. Lyon would start to heat up with seven points followed up by Marlee Mathena with four.
The Lady Cyclones would go into the half with a 25-22 lead.
The Lady Cyclones would start to gain a little momentum in the third period as Mathena and Renna Lane would add seven points apiece and Lyon hit a three-pointer.  Elizabethton would outscore the Lady Grizzlies by five points going into the fourth period.
It looked as if Grainger was going to make it a game in the fourth as they started to mount a comeback, but in the end, turnovers and poor rebounding would put Elizabethton in control in the final minutes.
With less than three minutes to go, Grainger had pulled within five. After a Grainger missed three-pointer from the corner, Lyon snagged the rebound and zipped down the court in usual fashion and scored on a layup.  She would score three buckets and also add a point on a technical in the period.
That and spot-on free throw shooting from Reiley Whitson and Lane would seal the deal and send the Lady Cyclones to the Region 3-A Championship game with the final score 51-42.
Coach Andrews attributed the win to a total team effort and strategic moves in rotation in the face of a big challenge from Grainger.
Lyon had a big night with 19 points overall along with Mathena and Lane scoring 11 apiece.  Alia Maloney led Grainger with 18 points along with  Hurst scoring 15.
Elizabethton, 51-42
Elizabethton (51)
Lina Lyon 19, Renna Lane 11, Marlee Mathena 11, Maddie Fowler 6, Reiley Whitson 4.
Grainger (42)
Audrey Stratton 4, Alia Maloney 18, Maddie Hurst 15, Sydnie Hayes 3, Millie Hurst 2.
Elizabethton…….  14 11 10 16 – 51
Grainger…………. 13  9   5  15 – 42

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