BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN, Elizabethton Star
Elizabethton Lady Cyclones guard Torrie Roberts led a fourth-quarter charge that saw EHS push past Happy Valley in the District 1-AA quarterfinal at Bayless gym on Thursday night.
Roberts scored all 14 of her points in the final stanza as the Cyclones ran away and hid from the Lady Warriors by a 51-30 tally to advance to a Saturday clash with top-seeded Sullivan Central.
“It’s huge for this team,” Lady Cyclones head coach Lucas Andrews said. “This game was like the story of our season. It was a grind and, kind of, toward the end we hit our stride and pulled it out. This girl was doing something first, then this girl stepped up and they couldn’t key on one person and try to stop this one, because then someone else stepped up.”
The Warriors (16-11, 5-8) led 14-12 through one period with post Shalyn Whitson and senior guard Adrienne Henegar each scoring six points in the frame. The Cyclones outscored HV 10-3 in the second period to take a 22-17 halftime lead as Whitson went cold (0-for-3) from the floor and with transfer student Kaitlyn Bailey scoring nine first-half points for EHS.
In the third period, HV cut into the Cyclones lead and went into the final stanza trailing 29-26, but this is where the game became a lopsided win for Betsy after a bucket from senior Bailey Ball brought HV to within 29-28.
That is when EHS (8-21, 6-7) took over with trey’s on the next three possessions to make it a 38-28 contest. First Shell knocked down a 3-ball and Roberts followed that with two trey’s and senior forward Abbey Townsend scored a bucket in the paint.
In all the Cyclones went on an 18-point run before Henegar knocked down one-of-two from the free throw line to end the run. But the damage had been done and the Cyclones now held a comfortable 47-29 lead.
Roberts scored eight more points at the charity stripe down the final stretch and Henegar hit one more free throw for the final scoring margin. Henegar led HV with 14 points, but got little support offensively as Whitson added eight.
For the Cyclones, Bailey, Shell, and Roberts each scored 14.
“Our main goal every day is to rebound,” Shell said. “Coach Andrews tells us that anyone can rebound. We wanted to shut down Adrienne Henegar and we did and we wanted to shut down Shalyn Whitson and we did. That was our game plan.”
In the early game, Unicoi County had a tiger by the tail in Johnson County, but prevailed 58-50 and will play Sullivan South on Saturday night.
Townsend 4, Headrick 5, Shell 14, Roberts 14, Bailey 14.
Happy Valley (30)
Long 1, Henegar 14, Absher 2, Ball 4, Whitson 8, Lunceford 2.
Elizabethton 12 10 7 22 – 51
Happy Valley 14 3 9 4 – 30
3-point goals : E 5 (Bailey 2, Roberts 2, Shell 1), HV 2 (Henegar 2)