Black Knights overcome Cyclones

Photo by Kristen Luther
Elizabethton’s Andrew Norman powers to a bucket inside.


  Chuckey-Doak used double-figure scoring from four starters to outlast Coach Tony Hardin's youthful Elizabethton Cyclones 61-53 in a Hall of Fame basketball game played Saturday night at Treadway Gym.
  Coach Joe Kilday's Black Knights took the court with four senior starters back from last year's 11-19 squad to face off with a Cyclone squad with only one senior, 5-9 guard Troop Harris, on a roster that is still minus four players who just finished the season with 'Betsy's playoff football team.
  Jumping jack guard Derrick Nave, a 6-0 junior, led the Cyclones to a 13-12 first-quarter lead, hitting three three-pointers, while the Black Knights' Michael King, an athletic 6-3 wing coming off a 25 point performance in a Friday night victory over Volunteer, hit two threes of his own on his way to a team-high 15 on the night.
  The teams swapped leads several times in the early going of the second period, and were tied at 16 apiece when Nave drove the lane for a layup to put 'Betsy on top 18-16. His bucket was followed by one of Ben Hardin's two three-pointers in the period and a fastbreak bucket by Brian Jenkins on a nice feed by 6-3 junior post Dustin Henson that made the score 23-16.
  Elizabethton pushed that lead to 29-20 at the 2:22 mark, its largest lead of the game, before going to the halftime locker room leading the Knights 31-25, with Nave having scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first two periods.
  Chuckey-Doak came out in a 2-3 zone after the intermission, and each team swapped turnovers before Dustin Williams, the Knight's gritty 6-0 senior post, started the second-half scoring with a nice turnaround jumper in the paint for two of his 12 points.
  The Knights gradually cut into the Cyclone lead until 5-10 senior guard Seth Lady put them up with a go-ahead bucket at the 2:00 mark that made the score 39-38, Chuckey-Doak.
  Lady wasn't through yet, though. The veteran floor leader, playing with a sprained ankle, scored six more points on a driving layup, free throw and three-pointer in the next minute and 12 seconds, countered by a layup by Elizabethton's Josh Pirtle, a 6-1 sophomore post who had just entered the game, and the score stood at 45-40 in favor of Chuckey-Doak at the end of three.
  The Cyclones took the opening possession of the final frame and scored when big 6-5 junior post Andrew Norman converted a baseline shot to cut the lead to three, 45-42.
  Neither team scored for the next two minutes and 30 seconds, until the Knights' Williams went back to work with a layup followed closely by four more Knight points to put Chuckey-Doak up 51-42 with about four minutes left in the contest.
  Chuckey-Doak's maturity showed up in the final frame, as the Knights converted 12 of 15 free throws and gathered in clutch rebounds following misses from long range by the Cyclones, who went cold in the second half.
  The Knights took advantage of 22 Elizabethton fouls, several as pressure mounted in a last-quarter comeback attempt, to convert 24 of 30 charity shots for the game, while the Cyclones were shutout at the line, missing their only three attempts.
  The game ended with a 61-53 Chuckey-Doak victory, upping its record to 2-0 after opening with a 59-54 win over Volunteer Friday night, and the Cyclones start the season 0-1.
  Coach Hardin summed up the game this way: "Chuckey-Doak is mature. They're a senior team that knows a good shot from a bad one. I felt our kids played hard...they battled to the end. We're just young and a little inexperienced about understanding the game."
  The Cyclones return to action Monday night in the Land Air Tip-Off at Greeneville's Hal Henard Gymnasium.