Lady Cyclones earn a return trip to the big dance

Published 11:26 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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The road back to the BlueCross Basketball Championship in Murfreesboro has been filled with Devils for the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones. First, the Lady Cyclones had to dispatch the Greenville Lady Greene Devils in the regional final. Then on Saturday, the Knox Halls Lady Red Devils tried to sidetrack a back-to-back trip for Elizabethton.
Fortunately for the Lady Cyclones, the Lady Red Devils were a little burdensome in the first half before Coach Lucas Honeycutt’s team doused the visitor’s flames in the second half to take a 57-40 win and earn a game on Tuesday morning against Dyersburg in the first round of the state tournament.
Should the Lady Cyclones come out victorious on Tuesday, they would then tangle with the winner of the Upperman and Jackson South Side game on Thursday. The winner of that game advances to Saturday’s tournament final.
The Halls team came to play as the Lady Red Devils managed to keep the game close in the first half trailing the home team by only one point, 22-21, at the break.
Sophia Tharpe kept the Knoxville team in the game as she scored seven first-half points. Raegan Corvette and Megan Biliter played contributing roles with five points each.
Elizabethton’s senior guard Lina Lyon was single-handedly keeping the Lady Cyclones in the contest as she scored 11 in the opening half, often breaking the ankles of the Knox Hall defenders who were trying to stop her on drives to the basket. Reiley Whitson added 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the first half.
The game changer came in the first four minutes of the second half when the Lady Cyclones stepped away from their outside shooting to attack the basket to go on a 10-0 run building a 32-21 lead that seemed to shock the system of the Lady Red Devils.
Elizabethton went on to outscore the visitors 23-13 in the third period to take a 45-34 advantage to the final eight minutes of play.
The Lady Cyclones shut the Lady Red Devils down in the fourth quarter to outscore Halls 12-6 and give the game its final margin of victory.
Lyon scored a game-high 21 points to lead the victors, while the hard-nosed play of Renna Lane attacking the glass in the second half resulted in 11 points. Marlee Mathena battled to stay in the game after getting three early fouls to hit for 10 points.
Whitson finished with eight points while Olivia Holly drained a trey. Maddie Fowler and Katie Lee finished the contest with two points each.
Tharpe scored a team-high 13 points to lead Halls, while Biliter added eight points. Corvette and Keira Evett chipped in with seven points.

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