Junior Cyclones drop game to Sevier, 42-26

By Marvin Birchfield

STAR CORRESPONDENT
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   The T.A. Dugger Jr. Cyclones battled their way back in the second half against Sevier on Monday, but were unable to close the gap in the final minutes, losing 42-26 in a conference encounter.
   A late rally led by Austin Taylor and Travis Bishop got the Cyclones back within contention, but the Warriors were just too strong down the stretch.
   "We played really hard and Travis Bishop had a great game, but scoring just six points in the first half really killed us," said T.A. Dugger coach Ryan Witten.
   The Cyclones opened up with a horrible start, as they dug themselves a hole right from the get-go, trailing 15-2 after the first period of play.
   Sevier jumped out to a 5-0 advantage, when Josef Throp nailed a long-range range jumper, which was almost a three.
   "We've probably got two of the best guards in the conference, and they make things happen. We let Throp just take it and go," said Sevier coach Marty Moore.
   T.A. Dugger captured its first score when Bishop made a pass to Bo Carter, who hit a jumper from the free-throw line.
   This was the only score of the quarter, as the Warriors went on to score 10 of the period's final points.
   "We didn't shoot the ball well at all in the beginning, and I didn't think we were even going to hit the rim in the first half," said Witten.
   Sevier hit the first basket of the second period as Throp made a nice drive and under-handed pass to Logan Williamson down low for the score.
   "Throp has been making great passes throughout, and he' probably one of the quickest and smartest players in the conference," said Moore.
   Two field goals from Bishop was the only offense the Cyclones could muster in the second period, as he hit a 15-foot jumper from outside and a bucket inside with 23 seconds left in the half.
   A shot from Coty Sensabaugh scored with time expiring to give Sevier a 21-6 advantage at intermission.
   "Sensabaugh basically does a good job of scoring by getting a lot of trash buckets, and he has a nose for where the ball is," said Moore.
   The Warriors pushed the lead to 20 at the midway point of the third period, with Brad Blackwell hitting Sensabaugh with a pass inside for the deuce.
   T.A. Dugger bounced back to go on an 11-2 run in the final minutes, which started with a three-pointer from Preston Smith.
   The last six points of the quarter was scored by Taylor, who captured two buckets off the fast-break and a long jumper from outside.
   "If you can break that press, then you can shoot lay-ups, but I think we will be all right come tournament time," said Witten.
   The Cyclones had managed to cut the lead to eleven by the end of the third period with the score resting at 29-18.
   Bishop became a factor in the final period, as he scored all of the Cyclones' eight points.
   T.A. Dugger closed within nine on a couple of occasions in the first three minutes of the period, when Bishop scored down-low and rebounded his own shot off a one and one at the free-throw line.
   It was 34-25 in favor of Sevier before they went on an 8-0 run in the final minute and a half.
   The Warriors were led in scoring by Sensabaugh, who poured in 17 points, while Bishop paced the Cyclones with 13.
   "Travis can play when he gets that motor running, which it's hard for him to do it sometimes, but there is a lot of these kids that look up to him," said Witten.