BY IVAN SANDERS, Elizabethton Star
It was a pretty good night for the Jr. Lady Cyclones of T.A. Dugger as the girls took care of business by sinking the Jr. Lady Vikings of Vance in both junior varsity and varsity play.
Girls’ Junior Varsity
T.A. Dugger’s junior varsity girls tipped off the opening game of the night inside the TAD gym Monday night by ringing up a convincing 34-7 win over their visitors from Bristol.
Outscoring the Jr. Lady Vikings by a margin greater than Vance would score in the contest in the first quarter pretty much put the game on ice as the Jr. Lady Cyclones ran out to a 12-7 lead at the first stop.
Marlee Mathena set the pace by scoring 7 points in the quarter. Reiley Whitson also had a strong quarter with 4 points.
TAD added to their advantage in the second period and took a 20-3 edge to the locker room at the half.
Whitson’s 4 points set the tone in the period for the Jr. Lady Cyclones.
With the game out of reach, the Jr. Lady Cyclones continued to grow their lead in the second half outscoring Vance 14-4 down the stretch to secure the win.
Whitson finished with a game-high 12 points to lead the Jr. Lady Cyclones. Mathena tallied 9 points for the game with Kayelyn Nave and Aubrey Nave chipping in with 4 points apiece.
Lillie McDuffie and Shalayne Phelan closed out the night with 2 points each for TAD.
Riley Milvik scored 3 points to pace Vance.
On a special night where the eighth-grade girls’ basketball players and cheerleaders were recognized with their families before the opening tip, the Jr. Lady Cyclones wasted little time in putting the varsity game on ice to finish out conference play.
After a slow start offensively in the first quarter that saw TAD take a 6-2 lead, the Jr. Lady Cyclones caught fire in the second period sprinting past Vance to take a 23-4 lead into the break.
Lina Lyons pumped in 10 points to lead her Jr. Lady Cyclones to the comfortable edge.
Renna Lane played a big role as well hitting for 5 points including a trey with Mac Depew collecting 4 points.
The second half was much like the first as the Jr. Lady Cyclones kept their foot on the gas outscoring the Jr. Lady Vikings 26-4 to run their overall record to 16-4 on the season.
Nine Jr. Lady Cyclones scored in the contest as Lyons led all scorers with 12 points in the contest.
A quartet of players scored 6 points apiece led by Depew, Mailey Guy, Lane, and Reiley Whitson. Kenidy Harris and Olivia Holly contributed 4 points apiece.
Maddie Fowler and Katie Lee scored 3 and 2 points respectively to balance the scoring log.
Marley Johns scored 3 points to lead her Vance Jr. Lady Viking squad.
Jr. Lady Cyclone head coach Matt Fox was proud of his group of eighth graders after the victory.
“We’ve had them in our program for three years, and I have watched a lot of them play since they were in the third and fourth grade,” said an elated Fox after the contest. “Tonight was a special night, and I hope the last part of the season we keep going and have a special season.
“Once we calmed down on offense in the second half, things started to roll a whole lot better for us offensively. I am very proud of these girls because they work very hard for this sport, and I am very proud of them.”
With the regular conference slate completed and the Jr. Lady Cyclones possibly finishing anywhere from first to third in the area, there is an opportunity to put the icing on the cake down the stretch.
Fox said that his team just needs to work on polishing the little things.
“Since the Liberty Bell game that we had last Thursday, I think that we are defensively sound,” stated Fox. “Offensively, all season I have said that we need to polish up on the offense and trust each other and move the ball while taking good shots.
“The Liberty Bell game was good for us because it showed we are as good as any team that we play if not better. We still have to do the fundamentals and as long as we do the fundamentals from here on it’s going to make a big difference.”