Lady Cyclones hold off determined Crockett squad

By Ivan Sanders
Star Correspondent

   The Lady Pioneers of David Crockett knew that the game was there for the taking, they just couldn't capitalize. With the senior leadership of EHS relegated to the bench due to early foul trouble, it would have been easy for the youthful Cyclones to fold under the intense pressure defense of the Pioneers.
   Instead, junior wing Lacy Lane stepped up big and the Lady Cyclones took a hard fought 59-52 victory over the visiting Lady Pioneers at John Treadway gymnasium on Friday night.
   Senior post Beth Holtsclaw would be watching most of the contest from the bench as she was saddled with three quick fouls. That wasn't enough to keep Lane from taking the Lady Cyclones on her back and inspiring them to a big win.
   Behind six first quarter points from Lane and three each from Holtsclaw and sophomore wing Tanya Dykes, the Lady Cyclones took a 12-5 first quarter lead. The Lady Pioneers made several turnovers as the result of a tenacious defense applied by the Cyclones.
   The second quarter was an offensive one as both teams were able to get their offense clicking. Once again Lane had a big quarter, as she would tally 10 points on five of six shooting from the field. Tracy Brown of Crockett found her stroke, nailing two three-point shots in leading the Pioneers with 10 points.
   The real difference in the half came down to the play of freshman Rikki Baughman, who was able to break the full-court press of the Pioneers with some superb ball handling. Brandi Forbes also did an excellent job on the inside in Holtsclaw's absence as she drew three fouls on the post players of Crockett. The Cyclones led at break 31-23.
   "I was really proud of the way our kids kept battling, especially when Beth and Brandi went to the bench with foul problems," commented Cyclone mentor Mike Wilson. "Lacy hit some big shots and Rikki handled the press well. We had to go deep in our bench, but the kids really responded," added Wilson.
   Holtsclaw returned at the beginning of the third and netted four points, while Lane would add six more to her game total in helping the Cyclones build a 10-point lead at the end of three. Brown kept her hot hand for the Pioneers, as she would score nine points in the period.
   The Pioneers would not roll over though and would cut the lead to 51-45 with 2:23 remaining in the contest. The Cyclones begin playing as though they were behind, trying to push the ball up court and taking ill-advised shots.
   "I thought our girls tried to rush and throw the ball, instead of getting the good shot," replied Wilson. "This opens up the door for us to teach scoring and clock management in situations like this."
   Behind the play of Brown and Tara Wardrup, the Pioneers actually cut the lead to four with 1:57 remaining. Valneesha Redd, Lane, and Dykes all scored critical buckets down the stretch to help the Lady Cyclones preserve the win.
   "We're thrilled to win this game. Our conditioning had a big part to do with this victory," commented Coach Wilson after the contest.
   Lane led the Cyclones in scoring as she pumped in scoring as she pumped in 25 points. Holtsclaw contributed 10, Dykes nine, and Baughman seven in the win. Brown showed the way for the Lady Pioneers as she had a game high 27 points, with Nikki Clemons adding a solid 11 points on the evening.
   In the J.V. contest, the Lady Cyclones blew away the Lady Pioneers by a score of 56-30. A ferocious full-court press was just too much for the Lady Pioneers to handle, as the Cyclones were able to score on easy breakaway baskets.
   Valneesha Redd paced the Lady J.V. Cyclones with 15 points followed closely by Brandi Forbes with 12 and Jordan Crowe netting 11. Cynthia Hill led the Lady Pioneers with 12 points on the evening.
   Nikki Crowe and Valerie Kauffeld played terrific defense for Coach Harry Farthing's squad.