Elizabethton cruises to win over Falcons

By Ivan Sanders

   There is one thing that makes a chicken nervous when a fox is around the chicken coup: Guessing which bird is going to be the next victim.
   The Volunteer Falcons knew the feeling at Treadway Gym on Friday as the homestanding Cyclones plucked the Falcons, 75-50. The Cyclones had 14 steals on the night, which led to numerous easy buckets.
   "We played excellent defense," said Cyclone mentor Tony Hardin. "When you play defense like that, it allows you to have a better shooting percentage."
   The Cyclones toyed with the Falcons early, allowing Volunteer to stay within five points at the end of one 17-12. B.J. Miller was able to tickle the twine with a couple of threes in the period to lead the Cyclones.
   That was as close as Volunteer would get as the Cyclones absolutely exploded in the second quarter.
   The Cyclones turned a five point lead into 13 by the 5:41 mark of the second quarter after Eric Stout, the lone senior on the Cyclone squad, made a steal and took it to the bucket for a deuce.
   The Cyclones ended up going a 31-12 run that all but told the Falcons their goose was cooked. The Cyclones entered the locker room up by 24 at half.
   "We wanted to go out there an finish off the conference undefeated," said Miller. "It was also a big night for Eric and we wanted him to go out with a bang."
   The Cyclones didn't let up in the third as they continued to step on the accelerator.
   EHS once again outscored Volunteer as Michael Porter came off the bench for six points and big Vince Redd brought the crowd to its feet with a resounding two-handed, ally-OOP jam.
   Coach Hardin unloaded his bench during the fourth period with mainly junior varsity players finishing off the contest.
   Besides Miller's 21, the Cyclones received 13 from Redd and nine from Walter Brown. Ryan Marshall was "Mr. Everything" for the Falcons as he scored 19 points to pace Volunteer.
   The Cyclones finished the contest shooting a 41 percent clip from the floor. They hit on 14 of 19 foul shots which was good for 74 percent.
   On defense, the Cyclones tallied five block shots and 15 rebounds.
   The Falcons shot a dismal 34 percent from the field, and hit on only 16-29 free throws which amounts to a 55 percent total.
   Stout was happy with the win, coming on perhaps his final game at Treadway Gym.
   "Our guards came out shooting great which made it easier for me under the basket," commented Stout. "It is just great for me to be a part of this team representing Elizabethton High."
   "It has been a pleasure watching Eric grow," said Hardin. "From his freshman year to now has been unbelievable."
   The Cyclones have two more tough non-conference matchups next week at Tennessee High and Dobyns-Bennett. Most people wonder why Hardin would schedule the games like this.
   "There was a purpose in mind when we scheduled Tennessee High and D-B as the last two games," stated Hardin. "We want to have the best competition leading us into the conference tournament."