Lady Cyclones blast Lady Patriots behind Shields 32-point outburst

Published 10:23 am Monday, January 8, 2024

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones were looking to get out of the gates quickly and defend their home court in the opening game of the Upper Lakes Conference conference-opener against the Sullivan East Lady Patriots.

With Michelle Shields hitting with the precision of a special forces sniper, the Lady Cyclones rolled out to a 45-21 halftime advantage, and never looked back in taking a 77-55 victory.

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Shields had 19 points in the opening 16 minutes of play to push Coach Lucas Andrews team out front as the sophomore sharpshooter had four treys in that span of the contest.

Post Marlee Mathena also had a solid opening half for the Lady Cyclones working for eight points. Kayelyn Nave chipped in with six points.

Paulina Hofer did her best to help keep her Lady Patriots within reach of the Lady Cyclones accounting for 10 points to pace the Bluff City team in the half.

Miley McCarter contributed with six points.

Both teams played evenly in the third quarter coming out of the break as each team added 24 points to their side of the scoreboard.

Shields and Mathena continued to score at will with nine and eight points respectively in the period.

Asia Carins had the hot hand for East in the quarter scoring nine while McCarter added six more to her tally.

With the lead, Andrews was able to go to his bench for younger players to get some playing time heading in the final eight minutes of play.

Shields finished off her night with four more points whiles Jamira Smalls had some big minutes as she dominated on the inside hitting the boards and scoring four points in the fourth quarter.

Besides Shields 32 points, Mathena finished with 16 points in the contest while Smalls reached double figures with 11 points from her post position.

Nave finished with six points while Peyton McGee added five. Dana Malone (4) and Reagan May (3) closed out the scoring for Elizabethton.

Cairns led the Lady Patriots with 15 while Hofer netted 14 points. McCarter also reached double figures with 12 points.

The 2014 State Champion Lady Cyclone basketball team was recognized at halftime for their achievement with many of the players and coaches present.

Elizabethton will get a shot at the preseason conference top pick on Tuesday when they host the Crockett Lady Pioneers for a 6:30 pm tipoff.