Lady Cyclone seniors offer a variety of skills

By Allen LaMountain
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
awlamountain@starhq.com

   A program that has come a long way in a short time can trace the beginning of it's rise to a senior group that has meshed in nicely with a very talented group of underclassmen to push the Lady Cyclones to new heights.
   Seniors Lacy Lane, Sarah Smith and Jordan Crowe all came into the Elizabethton program when it was at an all-time low, and as the seniors grew in confidence and skill so did the Lady Cyclones.
   "We were freshmen and went 0-for-27 or something like that," said Lane with a laugh remembering the tough times. "Moving to the 2-A level helped a lot. It's nice that we don't have to play Science Hill, Tennessee High and D-B anymore, but I think we could play with those teams. Back then we couldn't."
   Playing basketball since grammar school and - with all three playing together at T.A. Dugger middle school - a camaraderie has developed on and off the court between the trio.
   "We have been playing together since junior high," said Lane. "Myself and Jordan have been together since sixth grade at Central. Our goal is to get to the state tournament, and we know it won't be easy. Everybody has to play well, make smart decisions on the court and play all four quarters with no letdown."
   Lane became a starter two seasons ago and has been a solid performer at wing ever since. Lane capped off a solid junior season with a gutsy 23-point effort in a 69-60 Regional semi-final loss to South Greene that ended Betsy's season.
   Since then the fire has burned as the juniors they were became seniors this season and realized that leadership has as much to do with winning as talent.
   "Coach (Wilson) depends on us to make the calls on the court," said Smith, whose strong defensive presence enables EHS to trap and play strong zone defense. "We all know our assignments, we practice so much on the defensive side in practice, and it carries over into games."
   Coach Wilson has been very pleased with the growth his seniors have shown over their four seasons at Betsy and said, "Each one brings a lot to the table. Sarah is our defensive leader, Lacy is a good shooter and rebounder and helps a lot in the post. Jordan, when she is hot, can really shoot the three."
   Each player knowing her role in the scheme of things that coach Wilson and assistants Lori Wilson and Harry Farthing have devised has brought additional growth in the underclassmen as well.
   "When you have a senior group that has been together a while it gives you continuity," said Wilson. "I have a lot of faith in my seniors making good decisions on the court, and like I said, when a group has played together a long time, being leaders comes naturally. I think all the girls on the team have respect for the seniors we have here."
   Lane - the daughter of Helen and Terry Lane - has gotten some attention from college coaches looking to recruit their next freshman class and with a solid season going already a fine tournament would only enhance her chances.
   "I've had coaches from Virginia Intermont and Emory and Henry," said Lane, who would like to open her college studies in pre-law. "I have had visits there and I would like to continue to play basketball."
   Smith - the daughter of Lynn and Pam Smith - will look to pursue a career in nursing and pharmaceuticals and has gotten some feelers from LMU to continue her hoops career at the next level.
   "I got a questionnaire from LMU," said Smith - a solid ball-handler and distributor from her point guard spot . "I don't know how serious they are, I guess I'll find out if they make an offer."
   Crowe - the daughter of Jody and Joanne Crowe - has been a solid contributor off the Lady Cyclone bench providing long-range shooting from both the guard and wing spots and hopes to see the squad take it one step further than last year.
   "We have great coaches here and they always stress defense," said Crowe. "We go over ball side defense, help side defense. We go over the five rules of defense every day, and I think that if we play good defense it helps our offense. We just want to see how far we can take it in the tournament."
   However far the Lady Cyclones go in the post season, the trio of seniors that came together as children, will leave Betsy as young women that have learned through adversity that playing as a team can bring winning results. And each will have left her own individual mark on the EHS Lady Cyclones hoops program.