EHS routs Hampton

By Ivan Sanders

   The game was like watching a dogfight between a Toy Poodle and a Rottweiller as there was plenty of spirited action, but in the end the Elizabethton Cyclones were the biggest and baddest dog in the whole town.
   Building a 36-12 halftime edge, the Cyclone starting five came out and put the finishing touches on the game before turning the contest over to reserves in taking a melodramatic 66-33 win in VanHuss-White Gym on Monday night over the Hampton Bulldogs.
   "There's so much tradition and history in this building, we knew we were going to have to play well to win," said a pleased Cyclone mentor Tony Hardin. "It took us a while to get on track because Bud had a good game plan, but once we got focused we played like we were capable of playing."
   The first half was all Cyclones as Elizabethton raced to a 16-2 lead after one quarter of play. Walter Brown nailed a perfect 8 of 8 from the charity stripe to pace EHS while Lester Bailey and Vince Redd added four each. Adam Miller collected the only two points of the first eight minutes for Hampton.
   Elizabethton continued to increase the expanse between themselves and Hampton as Redd was the big man in the period with nine points for the Cyclones with Bailey also adding four more to his total. Brad Holtsclaw added some muscle points on the inside with three and Phillip Garland continued to add solid minutes by collecting two.
   Greg Osborne and Shane Campbell collected five each to make up Hampton's scoring in the second quarter.
   The third quarter had some anxious minutes, both from the court and from the stands as an altercation halted play briefly. Then a very scary moment occurred on the court as Corey McKinney of Hampton was going in for a lay-up that was contested by Cyclone center Redd.
   Both players came down like a big oak tree as each player hit their heads and their bodies came flying wildly behind. Redd managed to get to his feet, but McKinney was left wreathing in pain on the floor as members of the Carter County Rescue Squad responded to take the young man to the hospital with a possible concussion.
   The teams were sent to their respective locker rooms for about twenty minutes and when action resumed, the Cyclones picked back up where they left off as they brought the quarter to an end leading in convincing fashion by a score of 50-17.
   "Elizabethton is definitely a top three or four team in the state," said Hampton coach Bud Hazelwood. "We came in wanting to shut Lambert and Miller down and we did, but we made too many turnovers to have a chance at beating a very good team like Elizabethton."
   The fourth period belonged to the reserves, which will prove vital on down the road by allowing them to face the environment that playing at Hampton can provide. Hampton reaped the benefits of having the younger Cyclones in the contest by scoring 16 in the final eight minutes, led by six from Travis Smith and five points from Michael McCall.
   Charles Peters and Bradley Brown made the best of their time as each were five of six from the free throw line for five points in the final quarter. Derrick Wilson, Michael Porter, and Chris Vaughn closed out the scoring in the period with two each for EHS.
   "We just had to play our game and not let what was going on off the court bother us," stated Redd.
   Brown added: "We just had to stay calm tonight because the fans really get into it here. This will help us if we get on down the road in state competition playing in an environment like this."
   Redd led all scorers with 21 on the night. Bailey added 10 points with nine other Cyclones breaking the scoring column. Coach Hazelwood's game plan worked as Lambert would net only two on this evening and Miller couldn't crack the goose-egg against a very aggressive defense.
   Travis Smith's six paced Hampton followed by four players with five points each including Zach Trivette, Greg Osborne, Shane Campbell, and McCall.
   (Note: Both teams want to express their concerns and offer their prayers for a speedy recovery for McKinney)