EHS drops opener in double-OT

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   If you have heart problems, you might want to think again about attending a Cyclone basketball game. Their nickname could very well be the "Cardiac Kids."
   The Cyclones may very well have earned that title with a double overtime loss to Tennessee High on Friday night at Treadway Gym by the score of 74-71. It was definitely a memorable way to open up their season.
   The Cyclones were pretty much in command of the first half as they were able to build a 28-23 lead at intermission on the hot shooting of B.J. Miller and Jordan Lambert. Miller recorded 12 points in the half, and Lambert contributed nine.
   The Vikings kept it close in the half behind the fine play of Derek Linkous, who would score nine, and the inside play of Tim Dantas. Dantas managed to keep Vince Redd at bay in the half, as he would only allow the Cyclone post player to net five before intermission.
   The hinges fell of the barn door in the third, as the Vikings found their range from behind the three-point arc, hitting five out of six from long distance. Linkous was a dead-eye shooter in the period, as he hit for 13 points.
   The Cyclones, meanwhile, were not able to keep up with the torrid pace as their one-time lead disappeared, and they found themselves staring at an 11-point deficit entering the fourth period. Miller added four more points in the period as did Lambert.
   Walter Brown finally came to life in the fourth for the Cyclones, as the junior guard helped the Cyclones begin chopping away at the lead of the Vikings. Brown had seven in the quarter, but it was a thunderous, rim-shaking dunk by Redd that really turned the tide for the Cyclones.
   After Redd narrowed the lead to two points on the dunk at 54-52, Justin Hampton came down the court and attempted a lay-up which Redd promptly deposited in his face. Hampton felt there should have been a goal-tending called by the officials, and was hit with a technical foul at the 1:49 mark of the period.
   Miller hit both technical foul shots, and the score was knotted at 54-54. After another foul shot by Redd gave the Cyclones the lead back at 55-54, Linkous promptly was fouled on the other end and hit the first shot, but missed the second with 51 seconds left.
   The Cyclones tried to run the time down, but THS called time-out with 16 seconds left. As the teams returned to the court, the officials sent Brown back to the bench for having his jersey untucked.
   Lester Bailey replaced Brown in the contest, and as Bailey tried to inbound to Miller, the ball was knocked out-of-bounds off Miller's leg. Linkous would get fouled and go to the line with 10 ticks remaining on the clock.
   Linkous would rim the front end of the bonus shot, and the Cyclones would force a shot at the buzz by Eric Stout that just missed. The teams headed to overtime deadlocked at 55-55.
   Neither team would yield in the first session and after trading buckets back and forth, the Cyclones would have another shot at the win with :05 left in the first OT. It was not meant to be, as Miller would be hit with a charging foul as he drove the lane giving the Vikings one last gasp in a second OT.
   In the second OT, THS was able to go to Hampton and Linkous, who scored five and four respectfully to pull away from the Cyclones. The Cyclones had missed opportunities as they failed to hit four foul shots in the last 15 seconds of the contest.
   Linkous had a game-high 32 points for the Vikings, while Hampton added 18 and Ryan Place 10. Miller led the Cyclones with 21, followed by Brown's 16, and 13 each from Lambert and Redd.
   "They just played smarter basketball than we did," stated Cyclone head coach Tony Hardin. "When we learn to be students of the game and play smart, we will win some big games. Right now we just haven't been together that much due to football, but we played extremely hard tonight and I couldn't have asked for a better effort from the kids."
   In the junior varsity contest, the Vikings prevailed over the Cyclones by a score of 41-32. Daniel Booher scored 11 points and Matt Buchanan contributed 10 for the Vikings.
   Chris Vaughn played a terrific game for the Cyclones, as he netted 14 points. Michael Porter led in rebounding with five, followed by Brandon Blevins and Derek Wilson with three.
   Jeremy Robinson added five points and great, hustling defense for the Cyclones. Coach Richard VanHuss stated, "We really played hard and I think after a few more games we will be OK."