Lady Cyclones slip past Greeneville to capture regional championship

Published 11:58 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

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In the game of basketball, a win is a win, whether it’s by one point or 30 points. However, it’s easier on the nerves if there is at least some breathing room.
As everyone sat on the edge of their seats for the final 10 seconds of Wednesday night’s Class  AAA regional championship game at John Treadway Gym between host Elizabethton and the Lady Greene Devils of Greeneville, the game hung in the balance until a final last second desperation shot by Greeneville rimmed off giving the Lady Cyclones a minuscule 59-58 victory to seal the championship.
With the win, the Lady Cyclones (28-4) sealed a sectional home game against  Knoxville Halls (24-8) on Saturday evening at 7 pm. The Lady Greene Devils (26-8) will travel to Seymour (26-9) on Saturday at 7 pm as well. Winners in both games will advance to the BlueCross Girls AAA Basketball Championship next week at the Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU in Murfreesboro.
The contest was close throughout as Elizabethton clung to a 17-16 at the end of one period and 30-27 at the intermission.
Elizabethton got an opening trey from Katie Lee before the first quarter turned into a nip-and-tuck game as Renna Lane lifted her team on her shoulders in the first eight minutes scoring 11 of the team’s 17 points.
Lane continued the hot hand into the second period scoring five more to help ensure the Lady Cyclones would maintain their lead at the break.
Lina Lyon, Reiley Whitson, and Lee added three points each in the half, while Maddie Fowler and Olivia Holly collected two points each.
Greeneville was kept close by the play of Anna Shaw, who scored nine in the half. Miss Basketball finalist Lauren Bailey chipped in with five points.
Coming out of the break, the Lady Cyclones started out just like the game began, with Whitson spotting up in the corner and burying a trey to extend the lead to six but the game continued to be played out just like the first half ended as the Lady Cyclones at one point built a seven-point lead before the Lady Devils battled back to one just moments later.
Greeneville just wouldn’t go away as the Lady Devils finally managed to work their way out front by one point with just a few ticks over five minutes left in the game.
Elizabethton quickly spun the lead back into their favor by five until the Lady Greene Devils had the opportunity to take a lead with ten seconds remaining to play but Bailey bounced a ball off her leg giving the Lady Cyclones the basketball.
The Lady Devils fouled Lyon on the inbound with 8.9 seconds left for their sixth team foul and then sent Marlee Mathena to the line with six seconds left for the one and one.
Mathena’s first shot rimmed off and Greeneville raced back the other way, looking for the buzzer beater that fell just short of its mark, sending the Lady Cyclones along with the student body and fans into a frenzy celebrating the regional championship.
Lane led the way with a game-high 19 points. She was joined in double figures by Holly and Lyon with ten points each despite each struggling to find their offensive groove in the contest.
Whitson finished with nine points, while Lee added six. Mathena and Fowler finished with three and two points, respectively.
Bailey finished the game with a team-high 17 points to lead the Lady Devils attack. Kyla Jobe also reached double figures with ten points. Chloe Marsh and Shaw contributed with nine points for Greeneville.
Lyon captured MVP honors for the region tournament while teammates Mathena, Lane, Whitson, and Holly was named to the All-Tournament team.

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