Elizabethton overtakes 'Dogs; Lady 'Clones slip past Hampton

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Even without Rikki Baughman, the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones proved they could top a tough conference foe Tuesday night.
   But while Elizabethton celebrated, Hampton was devastated after losing their inside battle late and giving up a late eight-point second half lead.
   The Lady Cyclones rallied with free throws and points off of turnovers to pull out a 56-52 victory at A.L. John Treadway Gymnasium Tuesday night.
   "Hampton likes to shot-fade, dribble penetrate, and kick it back out," said Elizabethton coach Mike Wilson. "I told them to keep working hard on the floor, move your feet, and stay in front of them."
   "They got behind and we hurt them with the trap," he said.
   "We knew we couldn't do it all night because they are too good of ball handlers. They turned it over and it rattled them a little bit."
   The big number was offensive rebounds late, where Elizabethton more than doubled Hampton's totals in the fourth quarter.
   "I'm not taking anything away from Elizabethton because they fought back, but we just got content, slowed down and didn't push ourselves," said Hampton coach Leslie Campbell.
   "Letting them get offensive boards. They put us out of the tournaments that way," she said. "I know I've said it enough that they should be sick of it, but evidently they're not listening. That's what beat us again tonight."
   Elizabethton went up on a 4-0 run with buckets from Brandi Forbes and Michaela Pietrowski, who sat down early with two fouls.
   Hampton battled back with six unanswered points, including a pair of hoops from Jessica Tolley, prompting an Elizabethton timeout.
   A three-point play from Eden Treadway tied things up, but Pam Montgomery and Lacey Oliver pulled buckets to give the Lady Bulldogs a 12-8 lead going into the second quarter.
   Whitney Bishop made a big trey to cut Hampton's lead to three early in the quarter. Pietrowski sliced it to one after free throws.
   Lauren Pitman and Heather Chambers extended the Lady Bulldog momentum back to six points after free throws and a trey.
   Hampton held onto it despite free throws and a late Elizabethton charge. Tanya Dykes rallied the Lady Cyclones back in the third quarter with two buckets. Elizabethton played tougher defense and created problems for the Lady Bulldogs early.
   But Hampton took advantage of two turnovers and missed shots with buckets from Pitman to make it an eight-point edge. Pietrowski went on a roll of seven straight points for Elizabethton despite a Joy Gardner charge, which let Cameron Crapps pull a trey to cut it to two.
   A Gardner trifecta put Hampton back up with a four point lead going into the final frame.
   Pietrowski sliced it back to two with free throws at the beginning of the fourth stanza with Forbes tying it. The game remained tied at 42 for a long space of time before Valerie Kauffeld downed a pair from the stripe for the Lady Cyclones.
   Gardner's six missed free throws could've put Hampton up at that point, but Elizabethton benefitted from that.
   Forbes and Pitman exchanged buckets but Valnessha Redd kept the Lady Cyclones on top. The Lady Bulldogs cut it down to one with under two minutes in the game, but fouls gave Elizabethton a chance to spread it out.
   However, two crucial misses gave Gardner room to make it a two-point game once again. Dykes took advantage of poor rebounding from Hampton with a bucket to give Elizabethton a four-point lead with 24 seconds remaining.
   Jessi Price tightened it with a pair of free throws as Hampton called a timeout. Redd was fouled twice and made two buckets to make it four again and Elizabethton held on with a 56-52 win.
   It was a big win with big play by the younger Elizabethton players.
   "I told our kids that we've been to the substate three times and I'm as proud of this team as I was those," Wilson said.
   Pietrowski led Elizabethton with 19 points, while Forbes added 11. Gardner had 15 for the Lady Bulldogs, while Pitman and Tolley netted 12.
   Boys Game
   Elizabethton 72
   Hampton 57
   The Cyclones lost point guard Lester Bailey at the beginning of the game with an ankle sprain, but stretched out leads when they needed them to pull away with a 72-57 victory.
   A big bulk of that came from Adam Turley, who had 13 first-quarter points when the team was down.
   "The thing about champions, when they have to, they step up," said Elizabethton coach Tony Hardin. "(Adam) saw Lester and looked at us and our hearts were in the floor. For about four minutes he was a workhorse; he played a great game, but for four minutes early, he was all-world. That was what got us through."
   The bench also played strong for Elizabethton, especially on defense.
   "What they did for us defensively says a lot about what we did on defense," Hardin said.
   Elizabethton went on a 9-2 run before Hampton called a timeout. An Adam Turley trey and Derrick Nave bucket paced the squad.
   Travis Smith and a pair of three-balls from Adam Miller got Hampton on track and pulled them within three of the Cyclones.
   Turley and Hampton's Alex Ingram then swapped three's, but it was Charles Peters' trey at the buzzer that returned a nine-point edge to Elizabethton at the end of the period.
   The Cyclones jumped out with a bang in the second quarter. Chris Vaughn and Adam Turley followed with back-to-back three-point plays to put their squad up by 15.
   Another Miller trey and a Jordan Honeycutt hoop pulled the Bulldogs within eight as the time ran down. Hampton crashed the boards late and got points from Travis Smith to make it a five-point game.
   However, two Turley buckets and lay-in from Peters kept the Cyclones up by eleven going into the second half.
   It was more of a turnover and defensive third quarter of play. Vaughn and Peters got buckets for the Cyclones, while Miller and Shane Campbell kept ahold of things for Hampton, despite trailing by 12.
   A Turley free throw and a big trey from Ben Hardin gave Elizabethton a 14-point lead going into the final period.
   Peters hooked up on two straight buckets in the fourth to give the Cyclones a lead of 18. Turley fought off a charge from Travis Smith with buckets, when Hampton closed in.
   But Brown and Vaughn extended that lead back out and the Cyclones kept control as time wound down late in the game.
   Turley finished with 26 points, while Peters (12 points) and Vaughn (11 points) also had double digits. Travis Smith had 18 points, while Miller had 15.
   Added Turley: "Lester's the captain, he's the leader, he's supposed to get us going. When he went down, I felt like I needed to step up and help us get a big conference win."