Cyclones can’t overcome ‘Devils down the stretch

Published 11:43 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

STAR CORRESPONDENT
The Elizabethton Cyclones boy’s basketball team has proven one thing in the early going of the Upper Lakes Conference portion of their schedule and that is they are fighters.
After taking a triple-overtime thriller to open the conference slate at East, Coach Lucas Honeycutt’s Cyclones found themselves in another battle against the visiting Unicoi Co. Blue Devils only to come up on the short end of the stick in a 70-59 defeat.
The Cyclones cut the lead to two points at one point in the third quarter before Unicoi Co. finally found a way to pull away from the feisty bunch of Cyclones.
Unicoi Co. built a 27-18 lead at the end of the first half behind the hot shooting of Grant Hensley, who totaled 13 in the first 16 minutes. Eli Johnson aided the Blue Devil cause with eight.
Cyclone post Mason Ball worked the paint hard in the first half knocking down 13 points. Senior guard Dalton Mitchell added the last five points of the half for ‘Betsy.
Elizabethton turned up the intensity coming out of the first half to outscore the visitors 22-18 while cutting the lead to two halfway through the quarter.
It wasn’t going to be enough as the Blue Devils went on to outscore the Cyclones 25-19 to pull away late to take the win.
Ball finished the contest with a team-high 21 points. Senior guard Nate Stephens came alive in the second half scoring all of his 15 points over that time span.
Mitchell finished with 11 points while Jackson Hobbs came off the bench in the third period to spark the Cyclones comeback effort scoring ten points in the quarter.
Mac Paulson added the final two for the Cyclones.
Hensley finished with a game-high 23 points to lead the Blue Devils. Johnson was close behind with 19 points while senior post Lucas Slagle also hit double digits with 14 points.

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