Baughman sends 'Betsy girls past Sullivan North

By Allen LaMountain

   KINGSPORT -- Prep basketball is a 32-minute game, but don't tell that to the Lady Cyclones freshman sensation Rikki Baughman, who used the last eight minutes to showcase her talents in Elizabethton's decisive 62-46 win at Sullivan North on Friday night.
   Baughman scored a game-high 22 points -- with 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter -- as Betsy improved to 13-3 (6-2 in Watauga Conference play). The Lady Golden Raiders fell to 5-13 overall and 2-6 in conference action in being swept by Betsy this season.
   "Rikki really turned it up after she got hurt," said Lady Cyclones head coach Mike Wilson. "It isn't anything serious I hope, but she twisted her ankle on the baseline. After that she got much more aggressive."
   For his part, Lady Raiders head coach Bill Armstrong didn't think his team stayed aggressive for the entire contest saying, "We played well for about 28 minutes, then turnovers killed us. Even though we out-rebounded them, we didn't do a good job of protecting the basketball."
   Sophomore guard Tanya Dykes collected six steals and was a defensive thorn in the Lady Raiders side all night. Dykes also scored nine points in what was a solid effort for the young playmaker.
   Senior post Beth Holtsclaw was a force inside for the Lady Cyclones with eight boards to go along with 16 points before collecting her fifth personal foul in the fourth period.
   Betsy led 14-10 after one quarter, but freshman post Lindsey Collins rallied the Lady Raiders both on the boards and on the scoreboard as she collected eight rebounds and scored 12 points as North rallied to take a 25-24 lead going into the break.
   North's Kim Jessee -- who was seeing her first action of the season -- hit a three, and got a steal and a lay-up to help the Lady Raiders take their first lead of the contest.
   "We didn't do a good job of stopping (North's) dribble penetration until the fourth quarter," commented Wilson. "We were getting beat off the dribble and that caused us to have some foul troubles. I thought Sarah Smith and Tanya Dykes did a good job and put us in a position to win the game."
   The third period saw Betsy re-establish the inside game as Holtsclaw helped the Lady Cyclones to a 40-37 advantage after three periods.
   With Betsy clinging to the slim lead Baughman began to exert herself on the baseline helping EHS go on an 11-3 run to open a 51-40 lead with just 3:03 remaining in regulation.
   "We didn't rebound well tonight and that was disappointing," said Wilson. "What happened was we were getting beat off the dribble and when that happens your post players have to leave their blocks to guard the player and that leaves you open to be out-rebounded."