Cyclones fizzle out as Greeneville rolls to finals

Published 1:08 am Wednesday, March 2, 2022

GREENEVILLE – It was a night to forget as the Elizabethton Cyclones had a rough start to the Region 3-A tournament as they faced Greeneville on the Greene Devils home floor.
The Greene Devils showed why they were the defending state champs by leaving the Cyclones flat in their dust with an 87-53 victory to advance to Thursday’s region final against Volunteer who defeated Unicoi County.
Even though Elizabethton would go ahead early in the opening of the game, Greeneville jumped out to an early lead as the Cyclones found it difficult to get any kind of penetration into the Greene Devil defense.
In addition, turnovers which were usually, a result of a Greene Devil steal, plagued Elizabethton and put the Devils up 26-11 in the first period after Greeneville exploded offensively scoring 26 points.
Things did not improve in the second period for the Cyclones.
Elizabethton could not find any kind of a groove against the stifling Greeneville defense.  Blocked shots and steals by the Devils continued to be the norm.  Missed shots and seemingly sluggish play held the Cyclones back.
Even the sure-shot Jake Roberts struggled to get anything to fall except for a few free throws.  Elizabethton was simply mismatched in every facet of the game.
If the crowd came to see a close game, it was clearly evident early on that they would be disappointed.  Things got especially ugly after a steal by Greeneville’s Ty Williams would lead to an alley-oop for Kobi Gillespie who would finish it with a slam dunk, sending the Greeneville crowd into a frenzy.
The Devil’s would lead at halftime 53-19.
Greeneville wasn’t quite the juggernaut they were in the first half as Elizabethton went on a small rally, but Greeneville eventually woke up from their halftime nap.
The Devil’s would maintain their 30-plus point lead throughout the majority of the half as they returned to the same tempo and top-notch gameplay they exhibited in the first half.
One highlight for the Cyclones occurred when Dalton Mitchell executed a nice behind-the-back pass on the way to the basket to Kaleb Hambrick for a score.
However, it was a small consolation for a struggling Cyclone squad. Elizabethton finally started to bring a little high-pressure defense late in the period, but in the end, it didn’t seem to slow down the Greene Devils as they would go into the fourth with a 74-40 lead.
Elizabethton continued to struggle in the final period as their pressure defense did little to stop Greeneville. The Greene Devils would stroll through the period making it look all too easy against a struggling Elizabethton squad.
Greeneville would bring in their subs as the game was well in hand and even Elizabethton would relent midway through the period bringing in their own subs as the writing was on the wall.
It was a tough night for the Cyclones as they never really mounted any kind of a threat against a sharp Greeneville squad.  There was a sense that Elizabethton just wasn’t firing on all cylinders as the Cyclones would fall to the Greene Devils with a final score of 87-53 and fail to advance to the championship game.
Bryson Rollins led the Cyclones in scoring with 13, backed up by Roberts and Bryce Van Huss with nine points apiece.
Greenville would have two players with double digits with Reid Satterfield scoring 25 and Kobi Gillespie scoring 21.
Greeneville, 87-53
Greeneville (87)
Jackson Tillery 3, Kobi Gillespie 21, Jayquan Price 4, Adjatay Dabbs 13, Terry Grove 4, Hayden Good 2, Brayden Kennedy 7, Reid Satterfield 25, JD Woosey 6, Kameron Lester 2.
Elizabethton (53)
Jake Roberts 9, Bryson Rollins 13, Nate Stephens 2, Seth Carter 7, Bryce VanHuss 9, Kaleb Hambrick 6, Dalton Mitchell 2, Nicholas Wilson 5.
Greeneville…….   26  27  21  13 –  87
Elizabethton……  11    8  21  13 –  53

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