Cyclones go down fighting, lose in double overtime

Published 11:54 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

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BY C.Y. Peters

If you have to lose, go down fighting. For six quarters, the Lady Cyclones played with all they had. Elizabethton came out running with the Jackson Southside Lady Hawks and never trailed until 2:29 of the third quarter. The Cyclones led by as many as 15 points just before halftime.
The 32-0 Lady Hawks would deal the Cyclones a final blow in the second overtime for an 84-76 win and a trip to the big show. “It just wasn’t in the cards,” said coach Lucas Andrews. “We knew they were going to come out and pressure us hard, and I thought we handled it well, but we had some spurts where it wasn’t great.”
Everything went great in the first half for the Cyclones, as Jackson missed their first three shots. The Cyclones quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead on baskets by Lina Lyon, Katie Nave and Marlee Mathena. Olivia Holly would drain a three to put the Cyclones up 13-8.
Both teams got into foul trouble early; Elizabethton would have three players foul out and Southside had two. The Hawks would also assets two technical fouls. There were 46 fouls called in the game. Southside shot 41 free throws connecting on 30 and Elizabethton hit 22 of 26.
Lyon dribbled the ball around players, leaving them lying on the floor. The Elizabethton players were faster than Coach McNeal had expected. “Before I left the court, I told Lyon and Lane how phenomenal players they were,” said Coach McNeal.
In the first half, the Cyclones shot 12 for 12 from the line and hit 66.7 percent from the three-point line. Elizabethton led 34-22 at the break. They were outscored in the last two quarters to send the game to overtime. The Cyclones got into foul trouble and Southside kept getting easy baskets. After keeping the Hawks from getting the ball in, Lyon’s shot fell just inches short of winning the game at the buzzer in the first overtime. Elizabethton had a 69-67 lead in the second overtime, but a couple of turnovers gave the Hawks the lead for good.
Lyon led the Cyclones in scoring with 24 points. Rena Lane followed with 16, while Riley Whitson scored 13 and Katie Lee scored 10. Ti’mia Lawson scored 36 for the Lady Hawks. The game was tied eight times and had seven lead changes. During the season, Jackson had never been behind by double figures. Elizabethton finishes the 2023 season with a 30-5 record. The game was the second-highest in girls’ TSSAA State tournament history.

Elizabethton: Holly 7, Lyon 24, Lane 16, Mathena 6, Lee 10, Whitson 13
Jackson SS Albany 13, Lawson 36, Askins 20, Anderson 8, Currie 5, Long 2

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Elizabethton 15 19 15 14 4 9 – 76
Jackson 11 11 23 18 4 17 – 84