Lady Jr. Cyclones romp past Unicoi

By Marvin Birchfield


   It was a dominating exhibition from the T.A. Dugger girls on Monday, as they executed the fast break to trample Unicoi County in a 60-22 final.
   The Lady Jr. Cyclones stayed one step ahead of the Patriots by grabbing the defensive boards and finding the open player down court.
   "We hustled well and everyone played together moving the ball around. We have a lot of speed and things worked out great," said T.A. Dugger coach Angie Barker.
   T.A. Dugger jumped out to a 15-4 lead by the end of the first period.
   The first 10 points of the ball game were scored by the Cyclones, when their defense created several turnovers.
   A field-goal from the corner by Marti Bush captured the Cyclones' first score, and a shot down low from Michaela Pietrowski made it 10-0 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
   Unicoi's first points of the night were scored by Leah Love, when she connected inside the paint for two.
   Love scored again off a short jumper right before the buzzer sounded to cut the lead to 11.
   Victoria Hopson led the Cyclones in the first quarter with a three-point goal and five points.
   T.A. Dugger banged the boards hard in the second period, as Holly Livingston scored four of her six points off the offensive glass.
   "We boxed out well, but we have to do a little better in getting the offensive rebound and putting back, along with taking some better shots," said Barker.
   Livingston finished with eight points along with grabbing nine rebounds.
   The Cyclones built a 28-9 lead by halftime, and they didn't look to slow down to start the third period.
   T.A. Dugger came out to go on an 8-2 run, after a couple off fast-break opportunities resulted in scores.
   "We've really worked on getting the ball down the floor and I was impressed on how everything was clicking by the entire team," said Barker.
   A quick basket from Casey Banks down-low was all the offense the Patriots could acquire in the first three minutes.
   A pass from Hopson to Courtney Towle kept the momentum rolling, and a layup by Bush off the transition pushed the lead to 36-11.
   Back-to-back three-point goals from Bri Gouge and Brittany Smith extended the Cyclone lead to 46-17 by the end of the third quarter of play.
   Unicoi did receive a nice bucket from Chelsea Stephenson before time expired, but the Cyclone defense was just too much for the Patriots to deal with.
   "The defense was really great. That's probably the best we've looked since we've started," said Barker.
   In the final period of play, the Patriots were unsuccessful with shrinking the deficit.
   The Cyclones kept their intensity on defense, which carried them through the last six minutes of the contest.
   A drive to the hole from Casey Crockett, and a couple of field goals off the boards by Bush gave T.A. Dugger a commanding lead and convincing win on the night.
   The Cyclones were led by Bush, who finished with 12 points, and Pietrowski came away with three blocks.
   "That's the best all around performance we've had all season, and we shot really well tonight," said Barker.
   7th-Grade Game
   T.A. Dugger 44
   Unicoi County 27
   T.A. Dugger's seventh-grade girls spurted out to a 17-point lead in the first quarter to knock off Unicoi by a final of 44-27.
   Leah Hanson scored three field goals in the first period, and a couple of three-point goals from Jasmine Treadway and Leslie Guinn helped to grab a 21-4 Cyclone lead.
   T.A. Dugger led 25-10 at the break, despite being a little sluggish on offense in the second quarter.
   Janey Robinson poured in six points in the third period and finished with 10 to help keep the margin from shrinking.
   Unicoi hit two three-point goals near the end of the quarter, which were scored by Kaci Allen and Payge Barnett to give the Patriots slim hope for the final period.
   The Cyclones were too strong inside though, as Hanson scored eight of the game high's 16 points by pounding the boards and converting the shots down low.