Baughman nets 32 in 'Betsy win

By Jeff Birchfield

   Move over Lebron, there's another No. 23 who knows how to light up the scoreboard.
   At one time in the fourth quarter, the scoreboard read Elizabethton 50, Happy Valley 30. It could have read at the same time, Rikki Baughman 30, Happy Valley 30.
   The junior star for Elizabethton netted 32 points in leading the Lady Cyclones to a 56-38 win over Happy Valley's Lady Warriors at Bayless Gym on Tuesday night.
   "I think everybody stepped up, not just me," said Baughman, who was coming off a leg injury. "I had a really good game tonight, but I couldn't have done it without my teammates. We were just working well together. I thought it was pretty important for me to come out and have a good game."
   While Baughman was certainly impressive, as she stated, she was not alone in spurring the Cyclones to the Watauga Conference win.
   "You let Rikki go about all the time," said EHS head coach Mike Wilson. "But nobody can do it all by themselves. Somebody had to get the ball to Rikki and somebody had to guard people on the other end.
   "I was thrilled with our defense. They tried to spread us out and play dribble penetrate, but our kids played smart. I think we were able to frustrate them pretty well."
   It looked like an EHS blowout was in order when the Lady Cyclones raced out to a 9-0 lead. Happy Valley did mount a comeback, cutting the lead to 13-8 after a three by Brandi Dugger.
   Tanya Dykes responded with a late bucket to give Elizabethton a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the Lady Warriors continued their charge and finally took the lead 17-16 after back-to-back treys from Mandy Byrd and Dugger.
   Fittingly it was Baughman, who would tie the game at 17-all and then right before the half give the Lady Cyclones a 22-19 lead after knocking down a trey.
   The third quarter was again Baughman's show on the offensive end as she accouned for 13 of the Lady 'Clones' 16 points in the period. On the other end, EHS racheted up the defense allowing HV to score only eight points the entire third quarter.
   They continued the trend in the final quarter. Free throws by Valneesha Redd and Whitney Bishop capped off a 10-2 Cyclone run to start the period.
   Bishop scored seven points for EHS with Redd posting five and Victoria Hopson four. Dykes was stellar on the defensive end coming with a game high five steals and added five assists on the offensive side.
   Terra Whaley led the Lady Warriors in scoring with 12 points, while Dugger put forth their only other double figure effort with 10. Byrd and Kate Powell each contributed five in the loss.
   Happy Valley falls to 1-1 in league play and 2-5 overall before heading to Morristown Thursday to play in a Holiday tournament. The Lady Cyclones remain unbeaten in the Watauga Conference at 2-0 and improved to a 5-3 overall mark with the win.