Betsy opens Arby's classic

Photo by Erica Yoon
Cyclone Charles Peters works around the press of a Tabernacle defender in Monday’s opening game of the Arby’s Classic.

  BRISTOL--The 22nd Annual Arby's Classic basketball tournament got underway Monday afternoon with Elizabethton (0-10) taking on Tabernacle Baptist Academy out of Freeport, Grand Bahamas as the opening game.
  The Cyclones took to a slow start in the game and would have to struggle to catch up in the second half, but the Falcons (23-0) from the Bahamas would take away the victory, 54-40.
  "We had 15 turnovers in the first half and that was big," Cyclone head coach Tony Hardin said. "We had the jitters. We don't have much experience under fire. It took us a while to get our feet under us. We just didn't play with much confidence early. We beat them by three in the second half and I feel good about that."
  It looked like the ball game was in the bag for the Falcon squad when they took a 17 point lead in the first half due to double-teaming pressure and the long arms of Cordero Seymour, Dynile Forbes and Lucianno Bartlette.
  "I think that the first half really killed us," Cyclone guard Derrick Nave said, who lead the team in points and defensive reobunds. "Our team is really young so I guess that we came out and was really nervous. We didn't get the play going until the second half. In the second half, we had them. If we had just came out in the first half the way we did the second, I think we would have come out ahead.
  "We have had four days off and I think the our intenisty level was low," he siad. "We had a lot of young players come in and give us some good minutes. We'll just keep playing hard and eventually we will play for a win sometime."
  Seymour capped off the first quarter with a fast-break, slam-dunk for a 16-7 lead. The Cyclones were feeling the pressure and had five fouls in the second quarter but couldn't hit the boards and only tallied six points.
  Derrick Nave and the rest of the Cyclones came out of the dressingrooms not ready to lay down their first game in the presitgous classic. Nave went to the board three times and Andrew Norman reached up and put down two buckets, ourscoring the Flacons 14-13 in the third quarter but were still down 43-27 going into the fourth.
  Ben Hardin opened up the fourth with a trey and Charles Peters went to the boards to tighten the lead by 13. Nave then shot twice from outside the parameter and the lead was tightened to seven.
  The Falcons would earn their next five points at the charity stripe and before time ran down, went to the board again for a 14-point game.
  "We didn't play the first half," Charles Peters said. "We have a lot of young people right now. We aren't playing as comlete as we need to right now in one area or another. The last few weeks we have really picked up and are starting to sound out a bit more. We can go nowhere but up. We are at the bottom right now, so we definately have a better future ahead. We know that we have thet of capablitily of doing well."
  Seymour lead the Falcons with 16 points, shooting six-of-13. Forbes tallied up 13 points, going five-of-six at the line. Everette Lloyd and Seymour both tallied eight rebounds each.
  For the Cyclones, Jeffers went four-of-six for eight points while Norman lead in offensive rebounds with four.
  "Our schedule is brutal," Hardin said of his team struggle to get its first win of the season. "Our total schedule is rated top 10 in the state as far as 2A schools, so we knew that it would be tough. Born in the fire sometimes is how you get better and that is what we are trying to do. I don't think that we could be playing any tougher schools. We are figure on playing well tomorrow and getting into the conference schedule and being much more ready than we would have been had we not been playing that tough of a schedule."
  The Cyclones will play Sullivan East today at 2:30 in consolation bracket.