Cyclones blow past Urspring, Germany

By Allen LaMountain

   BRISTOL -- The Elizabethton Cyclones put on a fourth quarter blitz to take over a close game and set up a semi-final match against arch-rival Science Hill, as Betsy swept past Urspring, Germany 70-56 on Friday night at Viking Hall.
   For the first time since 1995, three East Tennessee schools have reached the semi-finals at the Arby's Classic. Elizabethton, Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett have each played it's way to the semi's.
   Urspring came into Friday's contest having defeated Unaka and Spartanburg, N.C. while the Cyclones had knocked off a tough Tabernacle Baptist (Bahama's) club.
   Vince Redd led all scorers with 17 points, but his presence in the post, along with some strong Cyclone guard play, helped frustrate the German's into a multitude of fouls and mistakes.
   "One of our problems was that we weren't patient enough with the ball," said Urspring head coach Ralph Junge. "Plus, this is our first visit here, and the rules are quite different. Here it is more footwork required, in Europe it is hand checking, which is allowed."
   That could account for a large discrepancy in free throw shooting, with Betsy going to the charity stripe 35 times compared to just nine for Urspring, as the German's were frustrated by the hand check whistles against them.
   "While we are not used to the rules here, that is no excuse," said Urspring standout forward Julius van de Laar, who totaled 14 points for his squad. "(EHS) is a very good team, and they prevented us from executing our offense very well. It has been a good experience coming here and seeing all the good teams here, and we would like to come back again."
   Betsy took a 32-25 lead into the break with Redd totaling 10 first half points.
   Urspring closed the gap to 44-41 going into the final stanza as guards Christian Karrer and Roland Andris heated up from the perimeter.
   The fourth period belonged to Betsy however, as the Cyclones opened the period with a 15-3 run to open a 59-44 advantage before Andris stopped the bleeding with a trey for Urspring.
   Buckets by Walter Brown and Jordan Lambert, along with a pair of free throws by Redd gave EHS a 50-41 lead.
   Andris then hit the first of his two trey's in the period, but the Cyclones were hot from the foul line, hitting 28-of-35 (80 percent). Brown and Redd each dropped in a pair of free throws and B.J. Miller hit a deuce as Betsy extended to a 56-44 lead.
   Eric Stout hit one-of-two, but then hit a driving bucket before Andris' second three of the quarter.
   With 2:31 remaining Karrer hit a triple to get Urpsring to within 61-50, but could get no closer as the Cyclones hit their free throws and played strong defense right to the end.
   "We are tickled to death to be in the final four of the Arby's regardless of the competition," said Cyclones head coach Tony Hardin, when asked about how he felt to be playing Science Hill in the semi's. "We showed composure and maturity tonight. Eric Stout has a saying tacked up on his locker that best describes what this team is about. It says, 'It's amazing what can be achieved when no one gets the credit', and I think togetherness is what this bunch is all about."
   In describing the Cyclone defensive philosophy going into the second half Redd commented, "Defensively, we try to take teams out of what they do best. Once we figured out that they weren't hitting outside we just decided to double-down on them and make them kick it back outside."