Elizabethton Lady Cyclones celebrate 10th anniversary of historic state championship win

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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BY C.Y. Peters

In a jubilant celebration marking a decade since their historic victory, the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones are set to be honored this Friday night, January 5th, during halftime of the girls’ game. This recognition commemorates their remarkable triumph in the 2014 TSSAA state tournament, a pinnacle achievement for both the team and the Elizabethton community.

The 2014 season was an extraordinary feat for the Lady Cyclones, clinching their first and only girls’ state title in the history of all five local high schools. Under the guidance of Coach Len Dugger, the team exhibited unparalleled dedication, finishing the season with an impressive 32 wins against only two losses, solidifying Dugger’s 171st victory as the revered Lady Cyclone coach.

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Their unforgettable journey in the state tournament showcased their unwavering ability. In Murfreesboro, the epicenter of Tennessee high school basketball, the Lady Cyclones showcased their dominance. The path to glory began with a hard-fought victory against Livingston Academy, securing a 55-46 win. Undeterred, they faced Westview in the semi-finals, claiming a hard-fought 69-61 triumph, setting the stage for an exhilarating championship showdown.

In a momentous finale, the Lady Cyclones delivered a scintillating performance against Knox Fulton, seizing the gold ball with a commanding 66-52 victory, carving their names into the archives of Tennessee basketball history.

Key to their success were standout players like Kayla Marosites, who earned the state MVP honor, alongside her sister Kelcie, Sarah Robinson, Sarah Bradley, Megan Pietrowski, Melenda Perry, Emily Kiser, Haley Burleson, Kyra McCrary, Autumn Lyon, Haley Burleson, Brittany Campbell, Bailey Montgomery, Ashley Depew, Haley Burleson, Linda Espino, Loran Campbell, Caitlyn Gardner, Allison Williams (manager) and Emily Schubert. Their exceptional teamwork and unyielding determination propelled the team to unparalleled heights.

Remarkably, this group of resilient athletes, many of whom were sophomores during the triumphant 2014 season, continued to dominate the court. They graced the state tournament two more times in 2015 and 2016, amassing an astonishing 65-2 win-loss record over those two years with two undefeated seasons while winning four sub-state games. The cumulative achievement across the four-year span from 2013 to 2016 culminated in a staggering 124-10 win-loss record, a testament to their unparalleled skill and dedication.

As the Elizabethton community comes together to honor these trailblazers, the halftime ceremony promises to be a poignant moment of reflection and celebration. Coach Len Dugger, his dedicated assistant coaches, and the indomitable squad of athletes will reunite on the court, basking in the glory of their extraordinary accomplishments a decade ago, forever stamped in the proud history of Elizabethton Lady Cyclones basketball.