Lady Cyclones rally by North

By Allen LaMountain


   A never-say-die attitude was extremely helpful on Tuesday night for the Lady Cyclones as the Sullivan North Lady Raiders had some surprises in store.
   A 15-2 North run in the second period enabled the Lady Raiders to take a 20-17 halftime lead at Treadway gym, but a fourth quarter EHS blitz saw Betsy prevail 48-39.
   A three-point shot by Amanda Frazier and a pair of deuces from Lindsey Collins lifted Sullivan North from an 11-2 first quarter deficit to the three-point lead they enjoyed at the break.
   "They were in a 1-2-2 zone and we needed to get someone open on the baseline to break it," said Lady Cyclones head coach Mike Wilson. "North really played well, they surprised us. (Valerie) Kauffeld came off the bench and gave us a spark with a couple of big shots."
   In the first half the Lady Raiders shot 8-of-20 (40 percent) and were on fire from distance, connecting on three-of-five (60 percent) while Betsy had some shooting woes. EHS shot just 25 percent on six-of-24 from the floor with Rikki Baughman and Lacy Lane each scoring six points for the Lady Cyclones.
   Frazier scored nine of her 12 points in the first half, while Collins scored six first half points enroute to a game-high 16-point effort.
   "We let one get away from us tonight," said Bill Armstong, Lady Raiders head coach. "Our guard play just disappeared on us in the second half. When Amanda Frazier went out - she's the glue that holds it together. In the first half we played about as well as we can play."
   That solid play continued into the third period as Sullivan North outscored 'Betsy 27-7 from the end of the first period and the Lady Raiders went into the final stanza with a 33-25 advantage.
   Elizabethton came out in the fourth quarter scoring on free throws by Tonya Dykes and Brandi Forbes to cut the North lead to 33-29 and forced the Raiders to call a timeout to regroup.
   "We like to try to catch teams off guard with the press," said EHS senior forward Lacy Lane. "Valerie gave us some momentum - she knocked a couple (shots) down. We struggled against Central and they beat them so we knew it would be a tough game."
   After the timeout Kauffeld ended 'Betsy's drought from distance as she buried a trey from the corner to make it a 33-32 contest, and with the determined defensive efforts of Sarah Smith and Valnessha Redd the Lady Cyclones began to catch fire.
   Smith tied the game at the charity stripe and then gave 'Betsy its first lead since the first period with a steal and bucket as EHS ran off 18 unanswered points and North fate was sealed when Frazier fouled out midway through the period.
   Smith led EHS with 11 points followed by Baughman with 10 and Lane with seven.
   EHS 63
   Sullivan North 36
   'Betsy demoralized the over-matched Raiders on it's second possession when Vince Redd dunked off an inbounds pass and EHS rolled to victory and remained unbeaten in Watauga Conference play at 6-0 (13-3 overall).
   Solid defense and balanced scoring was the order of the day for the Cyclones as Redd scored 16 points, and was complimented by 14 points from Jordan Lambert and 10 points from junior guard Lester Bailey.
   "We came out hard and got into the passing lanes," said Lambert. "We got a lot of steals that way. I think that -- as a team -- we are getting better scoring-wise, and that's good when you get everyone involved. If you depend too much on one guy, if he goes cold you can be in trouble."
   'Betsy rolled to a 28-6 lead after one quarter and took a 35-15 advantage into the break.
   "I'm glad we don't have to play them anymore," joked Raider head coach John McCrary. "We are struggling right now that's pretty much the story. But, it will be all right. It all comes out in the wash."
   Freshman post Charles Peters had a solid outing with eight points and five rebounds as Cyclone coach Tony Hardin was able to empty his bench in the fourth quarter.
   "We came out awfully well early," commented Hardin. "And we did a good job of sharing the ball, and I think that will be a key to how good we can be. We are getting a lot of contributions from a lot of players. The best thing is we came out to get a conference win and we did that."
   Phillip Scarsellone had a game-high 18 ponts for North.