BY IVAN SANDERS, Elizabethton Star
Even with all the beautiful young ladies and their escorts on hand for Homecoming 2019, the Elizabethton and Happy Valley basketball game didn’t exactly start out on a stunning note for either team as the distractions of the evening may have had something to play into it.
But after crowning ceremonies at the half, the Cyclones decided to put on a show for their newly crowned queen, Emily Peters, and rolled to a 20-point win, 59-39.
Slow getting out of the gate
Neither team made a lot of noise in the first 16 minutes as the Warriors seemed determined to keep the score low with good defense and timely shooting to go into the locker room trailing only 25-18 to the Three Rivers Conference fronting-running Cyclones.
Noah Stevens and Dylan Willis were doing most of the damage for Happy Valley as Stevens scored 7 points in the second quarter and Willis added a trey in the opening quarter as well as one in the second period.
Nico Ashley continued his hot play as of late gliding and hanging around the rim for 11 points in the half.
Senior Eric Wilson playing in his last homecoming game as a Cyclone added 7 points to help push Elizabethton to the lead at the midway point of the contest.
Throwing on the o
range and white press
Elizabethton came out of the locker room after shaking off all the halftime events and turned up their pressure that seemed to frustrate the Warriors as the Cyclones outscored Happy Valley 16-6 in the third quarter to take a commanding 41-24 edge heading into the final quarter.
Ashley was the difference maker once again adding 8 points to his scoring ledger while Evan Perkins helped to sway the game the Cyclones way with 6 points.
Warrior senior Bryce Carter accounted for all his team’s points in the stanza.
Closing out the game
Both coaches went deep into their bench in the fourth quarter after Elizabethton continued to build their advantage with their starters early in the period.
With new faces on the court, the quarter was played closer as the Cyclones took the final 8 minutes, 18-15.
A look at the scoring
With Ashley’s 23 points leading the way for Elizabethton, Perkins also closed out the game in double figures hitting for 16 points.
Wilson finished with 7 points, all in the first half, while William Willocks and Carter Everett tossed in 4 points apiece.
Parker Hughes and Brayden Phillips finished with a field goal each with fan-favorite Will Bowers sinking 1-of-2 free throws for 1 point.
For Happy Valley, Carter led the charge with 11 points in the contest. Stephens and Willis finished with 7 and 6 points respectively.
Luke Roberts and Blake Young chipped in 4 points each for the Warriors while Will Tittle finished with 3 points.
Landon Babb and Dakota Cochran finished out the scoring for Happy Valley with 2 points apiece.
“We have to be careful with not coming out and playing with energy in the first half,” said Cyclone head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “Our first half starts haven’t been great—our second quarters have been really weird.
“We have done better with that the last couple of games. With tonight being homecoming there were a lot of different things going through the kid’s minds, so I thought we finished off the second quarter pretty well.
“We came out and did a decent job in the press. Our rotation still has to get better. We were after it. We got deflections and deflections led to easy buckets at the rim. It was a good win and always excited to win on homecoming night.”