Cyclones beat sputtering HV

By Allen LaMountain

   With the bricks the Happy Valley Warriors put up on Thursday night at Treadway Gym, they may threaten to put General Shale out of business.
   A hounding, pressing defense by the Elizabethton Cyclones forced Happy Valley into a woeful 10-of-26 shooting night and a depleted Cyclones squad -- missing both Walter Brown and Lester Bailey -- managed to capture a 56-36 win.
   "We have nobody that could score," said HV head coach Charlie Bayless. "We had nobody take (the ball) to the hole that knew what to do with it. EHS had some good shooters. They are a better ballclub than we are, even with two starters missing."
   B.J. Miller turned in a solid shooting performance -- scoring 23 points on 9-of-13 from the floor -- while senior forward Jordan Lambert also demonstrated good touch with 14 points on the night.
   'Betsy (9-2, 3-0) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the opening minutes of play before Jordy Harrison canned a pair of free throws to momentarily stop the bleeding for the Warriors. EHS led 14-4 after one period and extended to a 30-13 halftime advantage.
   The Cyclones shot 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) in the first half as Happy Valley couldn't get the lid off the rim -- shooting just five-of-16 (31.1 percent) in the opening half of play.
   "The most positive thing for me was that we played great team defense," said EHS head coach Tony Hardin. "Having Vince (Redd) back there as the last line of defense doesn't hurt. He may have only blocked two shots tonight but he may have altered 20."
   The Cyclones were good from downtown in the first half as well hitting on three-of-five (60 percent) with Miller and Lambert taking turns putting the dagger into the Warriors.
   "B.J. got us rolling early, and we asked a lot of him tonight," Hardin said. "We needed him to bring the ball up and he did a good job of sharing the basketball. He did a good job with the floor game -- getting everyone involved in the offense."
   One of Miller's best assists was a half-court pass to Redd after a steal in the Warriors end which Redd finished off with a two-handed slammer. Redd finished the night with six points, but was a dominating intimidator inside on defense all night.
   The Warrior woes continued in the third period as HV scored just four points in the period as 'Betsy extended to a 41-17 advantage and Coach Hardin then began to substitute much more liberally.
   "He called off the dogs," said Bayless. "It could have been a lot worse. We couldn't even score on their 'B' team. That's how bad it got for us."
   Andrew Bowman finished with seven points, while Harrison and Bobby Morton each tallied six for HV (2-9, 1-2). The Warriors will have to rebound quickly as they host the Greeneville Greene Devils tonight in boys' action. Game time is set for 6:30.
   Lady Cyclones 56
   Lady Warriors 31
   Sarah Smith led four Lady Cyclones (5-3, 2-1) in double-figure scoring with 13 points as EHS won in dominating fashion. EHS forced the Lady Warriors into a dreadful eight-for-43 shooting night (18.6 percent) while the Lady Cyclones torched the nets by comparison shooting 22-of-48 on the night.
   Rikki Baughman, Valnessha Redd and Lacy Lane each tallied 10 points, but coach Mike Wilson gave credit to Smith's defensive efforts, saying, "Sarah is so quick that if they throw it more than 15-feet across the floor she'll make a play on it. We like to keep her back to trap and she does it well."
   'Betsy stole the ball from the Lady Warriors (6-3, 2-1) so often you would have thought you were watching a re-run of a previous play as HV had 29 turnovers for the contest. Smith and Redd each had four of Betsy's 15 steals on the night.
   EHS ran off and hid in the first half, after a slow two-for-10 start - taking a 27-6 advantage into the dressing room - as Happy Valley hit just one-of-17 shots from the floor.
   "We got off to a slow start, but our defense created some opportunities for us," Wilson said. "We used Rikki and Sarah to trap and we forced an awful lot of turnovers. I couldn't ask for any better effort."
   Brandi Dugger finished with a game-high 15 points as she finally got the Lady Warriors offense untracked in the fourth period, but by then EHS had built an insurmountable 41-14 lead.
   Whitney Bishop scored eight for EHS.