Stocton shines against Wesleyan

from staff reports

   The King College Lady Tornado came up just a little short against the Lady Bulldogs of Tennessee Wesleyan Thursday night in Athens, Tennessee.
   Wesleyan is now an outstanding 20-1 on the season, taking its only loss at Lee University on Nov. 18. King is now 17-7 overall and 8-6 in conference play.
   But more relevant to the local scene, former Cloudland star, Ashley Stocton was the leading scorer for the Tornado with 18 points, hitting 8 of 11 field goals and both free throw attempts.
   Stocton also had five rebounds, one assist and two steals in the Lady Tornado's 74-68 loss to the Lady Bulldogs. Nikki Dixon led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points.
   But Stocton led the Tornado to a much better showing than their previous 19-point, 81-62 loss when the teams met in Bristol on January 10.
   "We were down by 10 points at halftime," Stocton said. "We had been outplayed in most every aspect of the game. Defense is what kept us alive."
   King actually had a short-lived, three-point lead with four minutes remaining in the contest, but the Bulldogs held tough under intense defensive pressure from the Lady Tornado.
   King still had their chances, but a key missed lay-up under the two minute mark, plus some clutch free throw shooting by Wesleyan spelled doom for Stocton and company.
   "It wasn't such a heart-breaking loss," said Stocton, "because we played hard as a whole, played team ball; and I can honestly say we left it all on the court."
   The charity stripe was the difference in the game as Wesleyan attempted 23 shots and hit 16, while King hit 5 of 6 at the free-throw line.
   "I was worry-free. I feel that I'm finally starting to play like I'm capable of playing," Stocton said. "It was such a good feeling, despite the loss, to be "in the zone.
   "I didn't realize I had so many points. That was the last thing on my mind, because I was lost in the game."
   Stocton has local support with former Unaka great Bobbie Blevins and ex-Hampton standout Amber Farmer, both juniors; as well as former prep star Beth Holtsclaw, a sophomore from Elizabethton High School, as teammates.