Cyclones dominate Gate City

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Elizabethton Cyclones were fast and furious early in their contest against Gate City Wednesday night.
   Opening the contest with a 19-2 run, the orange and black attack smoked the Blue Devils and cruised to a 60-40 win at Treadway Gym.
   "We were fortunate," said Elizabethton coach Tony Hardin, "(Gate City) played awful well defensively and I'm glad we had the spurt early. It might've held the win in jeopardy."
   It was an impressive win over one of the top ten single A clubs in Virginia, who put a lot of defensive pressure on the Cyclones.
   "One good thing that I saw was how we handled the pressure. That was the best pressure we've seen without Walter (Brown). I think that will help us, they are an extremely good defensive team."
   Elizabethton opened with big buckets from Lester Bailey, Jordan Lambert and Brad Holtsclaw before B.J. Miller netted four straight buckets forcing the Devils to make some changes at 19-2.
   The Devils finally got on board behind Derrick Smith as they chased the scoreboard to 19-9 after the first period.
   "The early part of the game helped us out a lot," said Miller, "We were tired and it gave us what we needed through the game."
   Said Gate City coach Greg Ervin: "We dug ourselves a hole early and you can't do that against a team like Elizabethton. We just came out dead headed."
   Lambert and Holtsclaw opened the second period with a scoring run for the fifth ranked Cyclones and got some added help after a three-point play from Vince Redd.
   Will Humphreys and Everett Shepard kept it down to 12 for Gate City trailing 29-17 at the half.
   Zeke Fugate rallied the Devils at the beginning of the third quarter with a pair of buckets to close the gap at ten. Elizabethton had some turnovers, but Lambert made some clutch shots despite Luke Humphreys attempts for Gate City.
   Derrick Smith and Drew Scott bust back-to-back treys to open the fourth quarter pulling the Devils within ten, but two straight buckets from Redd and Holtsclaw put it away for the Cyclones.
   "Elizabethton is a good team," Ervin said, "We weren't very aggressive against them. Things came well late but our gas ran out. But their big run dictated the rest of the game."
   B.J. Miller led all scores with 17, while Redd and Holtsclaw tallied 15 and 12 respectively. Shepard and Smith led Gate City with eight.
   "It was rough," said Brad Holtsclaw. "We came through it at the end when we needed it. It seems like we lost focus and got tired, but we came back."
   "We basically tried to work on our man offense," Redd said, "That's what the game is about and we had to play good defense all night."
   Said Ervin: "We didn't play well. I wish we would've played better. Coach Harden runs a class program here and we wish them the best of luck in their tournaments."
   Elizabethton and Gate City split the earlier contests with the Cyclones earning a 71-59 victory in the freshmen outing, while the Devils took a 57-46 JV win.