D-B upends Elizabethton

By Allen LaMountain

   After working extremely hard to claw back from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit, the Elizabethton Cyclones saw their comeback fall short as Dobyns-Bennett managed to sneak away from Treadway Gym on Thursday night with a 55-50 win.
   Despite turning the ball over 20 times, the Indians improved its 2001-02 overall mark to 6-4 as D-B scored the final five points of the contest. EHS fell to 6-3 on the young season with the loss.
   "If we had lost this game it would have been because of turnovers," said Indians head coach Charlie Morgan. "We dug ourselves a hole, and it was up to the guys to dig their way out. We came out flat, and I told the kids at the half that they would have to step it up on defense."
   In a game that resembled a football score at the break, the Tribe went into the break with a 21-17 advantage. In the first half D-B shot a paltry 26.1 percent from the floor, while 'Betsy was just marginally better at 33.3 percent.
   In the third period the Tribe caught fire and took a 41-27 advantage going into the final stanza as Cyclone center Vince Redd sat a large portion of the contest out with foul trouble.
   Dobyns-Bennett took advantage of Redd's absence as Henry Williams scored six of his 13 points in the period, while the Cyclones went cold from the floor.
   Redd opened the fourth quarter completing a three-point play, but Indian post Anuj Sharma returned the favor. Williams canned a deuce to extend D-B's lead to 46-30.
   Redd added a bucket and Eric Stout completed a three-point play as EHS closed to within 46-35, but Azmer Blye's deuce put the Tribe up 48-35 at 5:35.
   In the next four minutes the Cyclones forced five Tribe turnovers, by turning the defensive intensity up to a high level. Jordan Lambert hit a bucket and Redd hit two in a row as Betsy closed to within 48-41. Redd finished with a game-high 21 points, while Blye led the Tribe with 16.
   Buckets by Stout and B.J. Miller brought the Cyclones to within 48-45 at the 2:45 mark of regulation and another deuce by Redd made it a one-point Tribe lead with :34 seconds left.
   Williams stopped the bleeding for the Indians with a two-pointer, but Cyclone guard Walter Brown was unable to convert at the free throw line -- missing both shots -- and D-B soon closed the deal on a bucket by Sharma and free throws by Blye and Joey Blackwell.
   "I felt like we lost the game in the first half when we just didn't execute offensively," said Cyclone head coach Tony Hardin. "This is a stretch of games in which I hope we use them to gain experience and make us a better team. We need to show more patience offensively."
   The Lady Cyclones overcame a 10-0 opening run by D-B to take a 27-25 lead at halftime, by outscoring the Lady Indians 18-6 during the second period using tenacious defense and turnovers to their advantage.
   D-B however, took a page from that book and used it to turn the tables on Betsy -- outscoring the Lady Cyclones 22-4 in the fourth quarter -- using the same recipe Betsy had used to forge ahead.
   "We didn't handle their pressure very well at the end," said EHS head coach Mike Wilson. "D-B plays four guards and spreads the floor very well. That definitely created problems for us."
   Halfway through the third period the Cyclones extended to a 37-27 lead, but it was all D-B from then on as Amber Quillen knocked down four trey's and the Lady Indian defense stifled the EHS offense.
   'Betsy still led 41-39 going into the final quarter, but were outgunned 22-4 over the final eight minutes to improve to 6-4. The Lady Cyclones fell to 6-2 on the season.
   "We played real well the first four or five minutes," said Lady Indian head coach Roger France. "We went into a lull for a while, but I was proud of how our kids bounced back. It's a good win for us."
   Beth Holtsclaw led EHS with 12 points before fouling out, while Kristin Bailiff paced the Tribe with 17.