Region 1 3-A Champions… Lady Cyclones capture title in commanding fashion over Greeneville
Published 1:45 am Thursday, March 3, 2022
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BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
GREENEVILLE – The Greeneville Lady Greene Devils were like a mouse trying to take the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones cheese but every time they made a dash for the prize, a Lyon stood in the way.
Behind tournament MVP Lina Lyon’s 25 points, the Lady Cyclones pulled away from the Lady Greene Devils playing for the region championship on their home floor for a 79-65 win and a home sectional at 7 p.m. on Saturday night against Northview Academy, a 50-29 loser to Seymour in Region 2 3-A.
Greeneville will be on the road at Seymour.
“I tell everybody every time they ask me that that I am glad that I don’t have to guard her,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Lucas Andrews about having Lyon on his team. “The girls around her know where she is and they find her on the cuts.”
The game got off to a hot start offensively for both teams as Elizabethton outscored the Lady Greene Devils 28-17 in the opening eight minutes.
Elizabethton’s female version of Steph Curry – Olivia Holly came out hotter than a pistol nailing four treys in the opening quarter for 12 points to bring a calming effect to the Lady Cyclones who began to push the issue against Greeneville.
“Monday I wasn’t really making any three’s and I said if I didn’t make them tonight I was just going to keep on playing defense,” said Holly. “I think overall we wanted it more and that motivation helped me to hit those shots. We all just feed off each other. It’s a team effort that is what helps us make those three’s.”
Maddie Fowler also nailed a pair of treys in the quarter to help build the advantage.
The second quarter saw a sluggish offensive effort after a strong opening quarter for the Lady Cyclones who saw Greeneville cut the advantage to 38-33 at the half.
Greeneville actually came out of the break and made a run at the Lady Cyclones to pull the two teams even at 38-38 before Lyon began to insert herself more into the contest.
With Lyon quickly pushing the basketball down the floor and straight to the bucket, Lyon scored nine of her points in the third before really turning it up like the energizer bunny in the fourth period as not one from the Lady Greene Devils could even keep pace with Lyon as she took the ball to the heart of the paint and into the basket.
Lyon finished the fourth quarter with 12 points to put an exclamation on the victory.
“I feel like I had to do it to help my team, ” Lyon said. “Everybody was helping over on me so I was kicking it out and everybody was knocking down shots which was helping the tempo of the game.
“Everybody has underestimated us all year and this feels good for us to be on top.”
Holly said she had a message for Lyon every time down the floor.
” I yelled at her the whole time that they couldn’t guard her,” Holly said. “I don’t think anyone in the state can guard her. She is insane.”
And while Lyon and Holly had a big hand in the offensive side of the game, it was a total team contribution as Renna Lane dumped in 20 points but also added hustle and tough defense that flustered the Lady Greene Devils on the inside.
Marlee Mathena also played huge in the middle for the Lady Cyclones scoring eight but more importantly using her length to alter or block several shot attempts.
Reiley Whitson added two but was saddled with foul trouble early limiting her offensive output.
Andrews said that he tried to stick to the game plan as much as possible and was proud of his team’s resilience.
“A smarter coach than me at one time said you have a game plan going in but when the game starts you have to throw it out and make adjustments,” said Andrews. “We stuck with our game plan for the most part. We really shot the lights out in the first quarter and I don’t mean to sound cocky but I thought that we might since we didn’t shoot well last game Monday night against Grainger.
“We made big plays but I was extremely proud that our girls didn’t back down. We never panicked even though some things went against us.”
The Lady Cyclones now have two days to get ready for a shot at going to the TSSAA BlueCross Basketball State Championship if they come out on top of Northview Academy.
It has been something on the radar of the juniors on the team since losing their freshman year.
“It’s a big deal because our freshmen year we got beat at home and we want to avenge that loss,” said Holly. “Everybody has counted us out so far so it’s going to be exciting to play at home.”
“We played them (Northview) early, and usually those don’t mean anything this time of year,” added Andrews. “We are going to have to come to play. We are home and I told everyone that if you ever have a home sectional game it’s something that you will never forget.”
Region 1 3-A Girl’s Championship
Hal Henard Gym
Olivia Holly 18, Lina Lyon 25, Renna Lane 20, Marlee Mathena 8, Maddie Fowler 6, Reiley Whitson 2.
Grace Hayes 10, Lauren Bailey 19, Lindy Carter 13, Chloe Marsh 13, Kyla Jobe 2, Delena DeBusk 8.
Elizabethton ….. 28 10 15 26 – 79
Greeneville ……. 17 16 17 13 – 65
MVP – Lina Lyon
Renna Lane – Elizabethton
Olivia Holly – Elizabethton
Marlee Mathena – Elizabethton
Delena DeBusk – Greeneville
Chloe Marsh – Greeneville
Lauren Bailey – Greeneville