Dobyns-Bennett attacks Cyclones in Arby's Classic tournament play

By Travis Brown
STAR Correspondent

   The Elizabethton Cyclones have faced off against the Dobyns-Bennett Indians previously this season with lackluster results, and after one quarter of play at the Arby's Classic, it appeared their luck had changed.
   However, they were outscored 64-33 in the final three periods, and fell to the Indians 79-55 during tournament action on Monday at Viking Hall.
   Cyclone head coach Tony Hardin summed up the loss. "They outplayed us," Hardin said. "Second half, they just played harder than we did."
   Looking to avenge an early season loss to the Indians, the Cyclones came out strong in the first quarter. An early three-pointer by Adam Turley put the Cyclones in charge, 5-4. Charles Peters then took over, as his first quarter effort helped pace the Cyclones out to a 12-6 lead halfway through the first.
   Defense provided the spark for Elizabethton as strong pressure denied the inside and forced Dobyns-Bennett to attempt shots from midrange.
   Heading into the second period with a 22-15 lead, the Cyclones came apart as the defense that held in the first, fell in the second.
   The Indians opened the quarter with four unanswered points thanks to a coaching adjustment by head coach Charlie Morgan and strong physical play from Lamon Williams.
   Both teams hit a lull midway through the period, but it was the Indians who would come to life first, as a two-point basket by Thomas Harrison pulled the Indians within a point of Elizabethton, at 27-26. The Indians would later take the lead on a bucket by David Begley and they would not look back.
   The defensive pressure that had prevented high percentage shots, continued to wane in the third period. Meanwhile, the Indians stepped up the heat with a full-court press.
   The third quarter saw all hopes of a win slowly slip away, as the first four minutes of the period ticked away without a field goal for the Cyclones. Derrick Nave converted on a pair of foul shots with 3:44 to go in the third to kickstart the offense for Elizabethton.
   The production would pick up somewhat as a three-pointer by Peters late in the period helped bring the Cyclones within a reasonable striking distance, with one quarter to play, and the score 57-44.
   Despite the hustle, the speed and crisp passing displayed by the Indians proved to be too much for Elizabethton. Midway through the fourth quarter, both teams seized the opportunity to clear off the benches en route to a 79-55 final score.
   After the contest, Morgan commented on his team's performance. "We started out a little flat," Morgan said. "We were not able to get a stop on defense, but we played better in the second half."
   "We are still searching for good chemistry, and I think we made a step in the right direction today."
   For coach Hardin and the Cyclones, the game marks another trial on the way to finding themselves. "We're better than what we played tonight," Hardin said. "That is not to take anything away from them; they played well."
   "We have been pretty good at times. We have to have leadership, and we have to get on the same page."