Cyclones cruise past Bulldogs

By Allen LaMountain

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

   Fear of rejection is what keeps most young boys from asking the prettiest girl in class out on a date. It was also the main reason the Hampton Bulldogs stayed away from the paint area on Friday night at Treadway gym.
   The Elizabethton Cyclones rejected nine Hampton shots on the night -- with junior post Vince Redd collecting seven of them -- as the Cyclones routed the 'Dogs 60-36 in a game matching the top two teams in the Watauga Conference.
   Redd tallied 10 points in the contest as well.
   The Cyclones stand alone atop the Watauga with an 11-6 overall mark and a perfect 6-0 in conference play. Hampton fell to 11-7 and 4-2.
   "(Redd) blocked shots and intimidated us some," said Hampton head coach Jerry White. "He made us change a lot of shots and (EHS) did a good job of trapping from sideline to corner. We're supposed to be able to handle that but tonight we didn't."
   The Elizabethton defense forced the 'Dogs out of their shooting range and into a horrible 13-of-51 from the floor (25.5 percent), while the Cyclones shot an incredible 26-of-50 from the floor (52 percent) on the night.
   Guard B.J. Miller led all scorers with 16 points in 29 minutes of floor time, while senior forward Eric Stout chipped in with 14 points and eight rebounds.
   "We thought that if we just came out and played good defense and hit the boards that the offense would come to us," said Stout. "My job is to put a body on someone under the basket and box out. When you do that you get a lot of putbacks or you can kick it out to a perimeter player."
   Hampton struggled offensively from the outset scoring just four points in the opening stanza as Betsy raced to an 11-4 advantage. EHS extended it's lead to 27-18 by halftime.
   The Cyclones led 21-6 at the five minute mark of the second period but saw the 'Dogs close the gap with an eight point run to make it a 21-14 contest.
   In the third period Betsy opened up a 10-point lead at 34-24, and then proceeded to outscore the 'Dogs 12-5 the rest of the way to take a 46-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.
   EHS broke the game wide open by scoring the first six points of the final period to take a 52-29 lead as Miller, Redd and Jordan Lambert each hit buckets.
   "Vince gave such effort on the defensive end, you had to love what he was doing out there," said Cyclone head coach Tony Hardin. "Hampton's a good shooting team, but our defense didn't let them have very many (open) shots. I thought the defense was the difference in the game."
   For Hampton Grant Honeycutt led the way with nine points while Kevin Harrison added eight points and Greg Osborne chipped in with seven.
   Coach White was pleased with the defensive effort of his squad saying, "Any time you hold a team to within the 50 point range you should win, but the offense wasn't there. Elizabethton is the elite team in the conference and we get one more crack at them at our place."