Lady Cyclones  too strong for David Crockett

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones went up early and never looked back in a game that was closer than the score indicated.
   Against a much-improved David Crockett Lady Pioneer squad, the Lady Cyclones played tough defense and made numerous steals en route to their 72-40 victory in the opening game of the Valley Forge Auction Ladies' Thanksgiving Classic at Happy Valley's Bayless Gym.
   "I thought we played well in the second half," said Elizabethton coach Harry Farthing, who filled in for Mike Wilson. "I've been telling the girls not to take Crockett lightly. They have a new coach in (Andy) Hare and they outhustled us and outscrapped us in the first half."
   "We made some big steals," he said. "Offensively, we had a pretty good game and Crockett's a much better team than they were last year."
   Elizabethton had a solid overall game from its entire team. Rikki Baughman was unstoppable, dropping a game-high 22 points with 11 rebounds.
   "Everybody got to play and that was really good," said Baughman. "The team was excited."
   "I think if we all continue to pull together as a team and do our part, we have a chance to win every game," she said. "I think we should go pretty far this year."
   Elizabethton jumped out to a quick lead behind key steals and buckets from Baughman and Valerie Kauffeld.
   Ashley Hill free throws and a Brittney Hensley trey got Crockett started offensively, but Elizabethton rallied back to an 11-point lead with some big buckets from Redd.
   Elizabethton kept a sizable margin courtesy of Michaela Pietrowski; however, Hill and Hensley both sliced threes to support Crockett.
   The Lady Cyclones used buckets from Tanya Dykes late to keep their edge going into the second half.
   Melinda Levasuer opened with two straight buckets for the Lady Pioneers, but turnovers kept Elizabethton in good position offensively.
   Pietrowski, Dykes and Kauffeld kept the team out in front with a 19-point lead into the fourth quarter
   Baughman extended her totals with a little help from her friends, pushing Elizabethton out to a lead over 30. Dykes pulled away with big buckets in the end.
   Dykes, Kauffeld and Pietrowski put up double digits for Elizabethton with 13, 12 and 11, respectively. Hill led Crockett with 15, while Hensley contributed 12.
   Wilson's wife gave birth earlier this week, while Farthing's wife had surgery. Everyone is fine according to Farthing, who took the helm for his high school girls coaching debut in the early game.
   Elizabethton will take on the University High Lady Bucs tonight at 8:30.