Lady Cyclones finish strong in Cherokee Invitational

Published 9:31 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones Basketball Team concluded the Cherokee Invitational Tournament, held at Harrah’s Resort, securing a win in the Championship of the Consolation Bracket. Their only tournament loss was a 4-point defeat to the eventual overall champion, Providence Day.

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Game 1 – Thursday Night / Elizabethton 70, RJ Reynolds (Winston Salem, NC) 60

The Lady Cyclones maintained the lead for most of the game, briefly surrendering it to RJ Reynolds in the 3rd period. Holding a 2-point advantage going into the 4th quarter, the Lady Cyclones widened the gap with pivotal 3-pointers by Peyton McGee and Michelle Shields. Despite attempts by the Lady Demons to rally by sending the Lady Cyclones to the free-throw line, Elizabethton managed to convert 6 out of 8 free throws, sealing the victory.

Michelle Shields led the Cyclones with 17 points, followed by Kayelyn Nave and Marlee Mathena with 12 each; McGee contributed 10 points. This win propelled the Lady Cyclones into the Consolation Championship game on Friday morning at 8 am.

Game 2 – Consolation Final / Elizabethton 50, Forsyth Home Educators 34 (Forsyth County, NC)

In their final tournament game, the Lady Cyclones showcased a robust defensive performance, maintaining the lead from start to finish. Marlee Mathena and Jamira Smalls dominated the inside play, contributing 16 of the team’s 23 first-half points. Their efforts inside opened up opportunities for outside shots in the second half, resulting in 5 3-pointers for the Lady Cyclones in the 3rd period. Defensively, Elizabethton consistently thwarted the Lady Hawks, contesting shots and limiting their second chances by dominating rebounds.

Michelle Shields topped all scorers with 16 points, including three 3-pointers; Mathena totaled 13 points, and Smalls added 10, with eight coming in the first half. The Lady Cyclones will now enjoy their Christmas break before hosting the Dobyns-Bennett Indians on January 2.