Lady Cyclones clobber University High, 59-29

By Allen LaMountain


   On Wednesday night at Bayless Gymnasium, the Lady Warrior Thanksgiving Classic got underway with some early blowout wins. The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones -- behind 25 points from sophomore Rikki Baughman -- demolished the University High Lady Buccaneers by a 59-29 tally.
   Daniel Boone's Lady Trail Blazers also won handily over Johnson County 80-43, as Jamie Perry led a balanced scoring and rebounding attack on the overmatched Lady Longhorns.
   'Betsy (1-0) got off to a great start to the season opening a 17-2 first quarter advantage and cruised to a 26-6 lead at the break. EHS forced the offensively challenged Lady Bucs into 18 turnovers, while collecting 16 steals.
   "It's early yet, but we did a nice job of controlling the tempo tonight," said EHS head coach Mike Wilson. "At times we can look like a real good team, we just have to play the game at our pace up and down the floor."
   The defensive pace of the game favored Betsy as well as the Lady Cyclones forced UH (0-1) into a horrible 11-of-31 (35.4 percent) shooting night from the floor, with point guard Duff Reardon leading the way with seven points.
   Post Brandi Forbes and guard Valnessha Redd each tallied eight points to the EHS cause, while forward Lacy Lane chipped in with seven points and as many boards.
   The Lady Cyclones saw their lead balloon to 42-16 after three periods and Betsy was able to find smooth sailing in the final stanza as everyone saw playing time.
   "We missed some shots early on because we shot too quickly," said Wilson. "We want to try to play pressure defense and not get into any silly foul situations. There were a few of those type things happening, but overall we played well."
   Jordan Crowe scored five points on the night -- hitting 'Betsy's only trey -- while Tanya Dykes kicked in with four points for EHS.
   Daniel Boone 80
   Johnson County 43
   The Boone girls simply dominated the boards -- coming away with 25 offensive rebounds -- and collecting 51 boards in all as the Lady Blazers (3-0) remained unbeaten in the early portion of the season.
   "We don't normally shoot the ball very well, so we have got to hit the boards," Lady Blazers head coach Tim Campbell said. "They do that well. Tonight we had a lot of second chance opportunities and shot well. It tickled me that we shot the ball as well as we did."
   Boone hit 47 percent from the floor (31-of-66) and nearly ran Johnson County (0-1) off the floor in the opening stanza, with a game-opening 14-0 run.
   "They just took us out of our game completely with that first quarter run," said Lady Longhorns head coach Eric Crabtree. "We have some very capable shooters, but we didn't show it tonight. We had a lot of open looks but didn't get them to fall. Meanwhile (Boone) was shooting layups all night."
   Boone cruised to a 45-18 lead at the intermission as Allison Langrel led the Lady Blazers with 10 first half points. She would finish with 10 as coach Campbell substituted freely all evening.
   "They were running nine girls on and off the floor, while we could muster just six," said Crabtree. "Nikki (Davidson) got into some foul trouble and we were just a cold shooting team in the first half. Andrea (McQueen) got hot in the second half and we got things going a little better."
   McQueen led all scorers with 21 points as she hit on five of 12 from long distance.
   Johnson County's freshman post Ryann Tillman struggled inside against the bigger and more physical Blazers, but Crabtree saw some positive things from his young center saying, "Ryann will get better when she gets used to the pace of the game. Right now things are happening too fast for her, but I told her to just execute the plays and I think that when things start happening in a positive way for her she will get more and more confident.
   "It's just our first game and we let things get away from us early. We talked about Boone's size advantage and how we would have to play patiently, but we got into an up and down game with them, which we can't do."