Cyclones win rain-shortened contest

* Top Boone on McKinney goal


By Allen LaMountain

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
alamountain@starhq.com

   Getting on the board early is always a good thing, but especially so when rain and lightning are in the forcast. The Elizabethton Cyclones got a goal in the fifth minute of play by Gavin McKinney and EHS beat Daniel Boone 1-0 in a contest that was called official at the half.
   On a night when the seniors members of the squad were honored at mid-field it was a junior that got the goal that gave the Cyclones the win.
   With the win the Cyclones complete a remarkable season turnaround that has seen Betsy win four straight heading into Tuesday's district match with Sullivan North.
   EHS finishes with a 7-5-3 overall mark and were 2-3-1 on conference play this season in finishing second to Sullivan Central for top honors.
   By finishing second, the Cyclones will be the host team on Tuesday night against the Golden Raiders, who EHS beat 4-1 on April 25 at Brown-Childress Stadium.
   "We expect a physical match, but these guys are mostly seniors so they can dish it out as well," said Cyclone head coach Bill McClay. "Tonight, we had so many shots. I wish we could have gotten a few more to go, but I think the team feels good about itself now.
   "We have won or tied 10 of our last 12 contests, and these guys made a decision to pull together and get themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves early on."
   The Cyclones sent 13 shots at Trailblazer goalkeeper Justin Miller, and with good offensive pressure, kept the action in the Boone half of the field for the entire first half.
   In the fifth minute Miller attempted a goal kick out of the box, but was able to get it only to about the 35 yard line, where Michael Tierney stopped it at midfield.
   Tierney headed the ball to John David Jativa, who looked left and found McKinney inside the box making a run at the Blazer goal. McKinney beat Miller to his left for the only goal of the abbreviated match.
   "Gavin has had a big impact for us up front," stated McClay. "We had him in the back, and had no reason to change, but he got hurt and Jeff Alman stepped up so we weren't going to move him.
   "When Gavin came back we had to decide where he would play, and we decided to put him front where we could use his speed and his courage in attacking the net. And since we put him up front his play has helped other guys goal production, by being another player the other team has to contend with."
   In the first seven minutes of play Betsy had two other great opportunities go by the boards as both Jativa and Tierney fired blasts at Miller that deflected off the top post and rebounded away as Boone was simply dodging the bullets EHS was firing at them to this point.
   "It was after the first game against Boone that the team decided to really pull together," commented McClay. "The guys felt that we had out-played them, but they still got the tie. They decided that 'Hey, this is our team' and they started pulling for one another instead of letting everything fall apart, and came together."