2003 could be Cyclones season

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR CORRESPONDENT
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

     Their first meeting didn't live up to its "hype."
     Elizabethton's Vince Redd and Johnson County's Matt Cornett were both labeled as possibly the top two players in the area coming into this season.
     Although both graced the basketball preview cover earlier last fall, Redd and the rest of his Cyclone teammates such as B.J. Miller, Jordan Lambert and Walter Brown among others have made a statement this season.
     Whereas the Longhorns have beaten weaker opponents but have not been able to stack up to the big dogs.
     The last contest was billed as being a good matchup, a showcase of good teams among other things.
     On paper, looking at a size perspective, both teams matched up well.
     Judd Shoun and Tommy Short would be too much of a threat outside for the orange and black, while Cornett would have his break out game. It would not happen.
     Elizabethton beat Johnson County in all aspects of the game and B.J. Miller held a Longhorn barbeque from downtown with his five treys in rout to 21 points leading Elizabethton to a 57-33 victory.
     This past week, the only other team that Elizabethton was yet to face, fell victim in Volunteer. This is just another staple to prove that this could very well be the year of the Cyclones.
     This Friday's game will be just another game on a schedule this season between the two squads. The marquee match up that could have been, was swiftly swept off into a winter breeze by the Cyclones.
     This week's game will be no different as Elizabethton is still rolling through the Watauga Conference with no intentions of stopping their train in Mountain City this Friday night.
     BOYS GAMES OF THE WEEK: University High at Cloudland (Tues), University High at Unaka (Fri)
     University High can recapture the Watauga Valley Conference lead in one week with wins over Cloudland and Unaka. After losing to Unaka last week, the Junior Bucs will be out for blood this week.
     Riding high after Friday night's win over Unaka, Cloudland may be fired up for the contest on Tuesday. But they will have a hard time against the Jr. Bucs. Unaka, on the other hand, will protect home court gracefully this week.
     UNIVERSITY HIGH 62, CLOUDLAND 58 and UNAKA 67, UNIVERSITY HIGH 61
     GIRLS GAMES OF THE WEEK: Elizabethton at Happy Valley (Tues), Johnson County at Hampton (Tues)
     Happy Valley and Elizabethton's girls squads have been playing solidly this year and their game this week could be a barn burner.
     The Lady Warriors have been getting solid play out of Brandi Dugger and Mandy Byrd, while Elizabethton is being led by Rikki Baughman and Sarah Smith.
     The Lady Cyclones took the edge during the first contest, look for Happy Valley to possibly pull something special in this one. HAPPY VALLEY 47, ELIZABETHTON 43
     The Hampton Lady Bulldogs have begun to turn their season around recently. Look for Joy Gardner and Heather Chambers to have good games over Courtney Shaw and Johnson County. HAMPTON 66-57
     BOYS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: VINCE REDD, ELIZABETHTON
     Redd led the Cyclones in two big conference wins over Sullivan North and Volunteer with 16 and 24 points respectively.
     GIRLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: STACHIA JOHNSON, CLOUDLAND
     Johnson helped power Cloudland to wins over Cedarview Christian and Unaka scoring in double digits each contest.