BY IVAN SANDERS, Elizabethton Star
PIGEON FORGE—While most people who were in Pigeon Forge on Thursday evening were taking in the millions of Christmas lights at Dollywood, the Elizabethton Cyclones were shooting the lights out at Pigeon Forge High School on the basketball hardwood.
The result was the second win of the season for the Cyclones with a convincing 13-point win, 56-43.
Feeling the Tigers out
The Cyclones managed to work their way out to an eight-point advantage after the first eight minutes of play, 21-13, as Brayden Phillips came out smoking from beyond the arc knocking down a pair of treys to show the way with six points in the opening quarter.
Evan Perkins dialed in a trey as well to go along with a pair of free throws for five in the stanza. Parker Hughes and Nico Ashley had a hand in building the lead with four points apiece.
Starting to close the gate to the cage
Elizabethton continued to work hard in the second period and found the footing needed to place some space between themselves and Pigeon Forge.
Owning the quarter 20-7, the Cyclones went into the intermission with a handy 41-20 advantage.
Using another pair of treys and hitting 6-of-6 from the charity stripe, ‘Betsy built the 19-point edge.
Ashley heated up in a big way in the period dropping in seven points with a trey and a pair of field goals. Phillips connected on his third trey of the contest while Eric Wilson and Hughes chipping in with four points each with Wilson’s coming from the line with a perfect 4-of-4 effort.
Tigers try to dig themselves out of deep pit
Pigeon Forge came out of the break and managed to take the third period 13-9 to trim the Cyclone lead to 50-33 as they tried to fight back from the big first-half deficit.
Going to the line 11 times in the quarter, the Tigers converted 7 of their 11 shots. Blake Staininger and Micah Wilkinson knocked down four points apiece to lead the home team.
Bryson Rollins led Elizabethton with four points in the period while Hughes added three and Corbin Montgomery collected two points.
Working through the final stanza
The Tigers continued to fight before their fans to take the final eight minutes of action 10-6, but it wasn’t going to be enough.
Pigeon Forge continued to make good use of the foul line as the Tigers toed the line 18 times and managed to convert 8 of those attempts.
Wilkinson’s six points showed the way as the Tiger had the only field goal of the final quarter for his team and added four free throws.
The Cyclones also worked their way to 10 opportunities from the foul line in the period hitting 4 of those attempts. ‘Betsy scored only 6 points in the final eight minutes of play.
By the numbers
Hughes tied for game-high scoring honors with 13 points for the contest. Elizabethton also received double-digit scoring from Ashley and Phillips with 11 and 10 points respectively. Perkins and Rollins contributed with 7 points apiece.
Wilson (6) and Montgomery (2) closed out the Cyclones scoring ledger.
Wilkinson led Pigeon Forge with 13 points on the night. He was the only Tiger in double figures.