Elizabethton Star Christmas Shootout: Jr. Cyclones earn shot at first place

11:07 am | December 21, 2011

It took swift, aggressive play that bled into the waning moments, a guttural defensive stand late in the face of a Mosheim Indian team that had its eyes also set on a championship-game apperance and stoppage time that was the result of a power outage Tuesday night.

Photo by Danny Davis - Jr. Cyclone Mitchell Dailey (1) shields away Mosheim’s Cole Christopher as he shoots the ball. Dailey led TAD with 13 points.

But after all was finally said and done, the Jr. Cyclones earned a spot in tonight’s Elizabethton Star Shootout boys’ varsity title game at the East Tennessee Sports Complex by the slim margin of 49-43.

The victory and subsequent advancement earns the Jr. Cyclones a crack at Greeneville in Wednesday’s championship matchup, beginning at 7 p.m. The Greene Devils endured a hard-fought victory of their own Monday night, topping Cloudland by eight.

The high tempo of the first half of semifinal action provided both teams with opportunities to score within the transition game early, and Mitchell Dailey showcased his talent early for the Jr. Cyclones. At the 2:40 mark of the first half, Dailey capped off a six-point, first-half explosion with a baseline glide of a coast-to-coast layin for two of his 13 points on the night. Cole Christopher answered Dailey’s salvos in the transition game from the other end of the floor in the first half, tallying six press-busting points in what would become a 14-point night for the Indians.

The second half was sternly defensive in nature as Mosheim capitalized on its turnover causing press early to cut the Jr. Cyclone’s five-point intermission advantage down to zero by the three-minute mark of the third period. Conley Bowers began to assert himself in the post at that point in what would become a 10-point outing for the stalwart. The TAD press took shape as its greatest asset early in the fourth quarter as Pless took an intercepted pass to the hoop for a transition two, and Dailey’s 3-pointer at the 3:40 mark secured an eight-point Jr. Cyclone pullaway.

Quality charity stripe play and solid defense from that point on sealed the win for the Orange & Black and also excited their head coach Mike McMeans,

“You know we want to come out in a tournament, be the aggressor and survive,” said McMeans after the win. “We are taking all this with a one-game mentality and playing out every moment of the game as it comes. We want to work on our defensive effort heading into a matchup with a tough Greeneville team.”

 

Happy Valley……………………53

Hunter…………………………….44

Rik Anderson’s Happy Valley Jr. Warriors had just enough spark to build and maintain a 29-16 halftime advantage over the Hunter Tigers and ultimately turn it into a victory. The win enusures that the Jr. Warriors will face Sevier for fifth place tonight.

Nate Kyte led the Jr. Warrriors with 21 points and teammate Austin Hicks backed up his sterling play with 16 in a game that the Jr. Warriors almost saw slip away due to the deadly shooting of Joe Searfoss. Searfoss finished the contest with 18 points, including four smooth 3-pointers that complemented the sound transition play of his cohort Brandon Guinn, who finished the night with 14 points.

A late Tigers surge that saw the blue and yellow donned charges outscore the Jr. Warriors 14-9 in the final period was to no avail as the Jr. Warriors’ first-half indside charge was just too much to overcome.

“We have been getting good post play inside lately,” Anderson said. “We get relaxed with a big lead in this one and that is something you don’t want to do moving forward. Overall, though, I was happy to see us keep the lead no matter how slim it got. Hunter has a great shooting team. If you soften up on them, that is what happens.”

 

BOYS JV

Happy Valley……………………49

Unicoi County………………….39

Happy Valley formally announced its championship intentions via a win over the Unicoi County. The scoring tandem of Austin Hicks and Sam Blevins paced the Jr. Warriors scoring effort with 14 and 12 points, respectively, and a suffocating fullcourt “D” applied by the Warriors allowed their big lead to balloon to 45-23 mid way through the fourth.

The win books the Jr. Warriors a participants pass in Thursday night’s JV title game alongside the Greeneville Greene Devils, who are joining their varsity ranks in championship contention. Jacob Smith led the Blue Devil scoring despite the losing effort with 11 points.

 

Greeneville………………………50

T.A. Dugger………………………28

Takeem Young tallied 16 points and Nash Newberry added 10 more to pace the dominance in what would become a 50-28 Greeneville victory over TAD in semifinal action. The Devils dominated throughout the contest both offensively and defensively, and although Hayden Townsend sent in nine points to lead the Jr. Cyclones, maintained a distinct advantage from beginning to end.

 

Johnson County……………….62

Ridgeview………………………..33

Spencer Stanley sank 11 points and Nick Widener added 10 in a Longhorn rout that would see younger players getting experience even before the intermission. The final tally over the Ridgeview Raptors could have been much worse had it not been for mass substitutions on both sides to ensure that everyone particiapated in the fun. A.J. Stanley provided the lone bright spark for the Raptors with 10 points.

The Jr. Longhorns will face the Greeneville in consolation action tonight.

 

GIRLS VARSITY

Cloudland………………………..28

Mosheim………………………….21

Davi Heaton had four points in a second-half surge that lifted the Lady Jr. ’Landers over the Mosheim Lady Indians.

Heaton would finish with 13 points in a game marked by aolid defensive play on both sides and a third-quarter Cloudland press that proved to be too much for Mosheim to handle.

Christen Payne paced the Lady Indians with six points in a game that was dead even at halftime and then slowly pulled away in Cloudland’s favor.

Cloudland will face Church Hill in consolation play tonight.

 

GIRLS JV

T.A. Dugger………………………37

Richlands, Va…………………..14

The Lady Jr. Cyclones earned their place beside their varsity squad in championship action Thursday night with a landslide victory over Richlands in semifinal play. Loren Campbell paced T.A. Dugger in scoring with eight points while Britany Campbell and Autumn Lyon added six and five points, respectively.

Catlyn Gardner also shot well in a semifinal game that became nothing more than a formality as the Lady Jr. Cyclones built their lead to 31-8 in the first half. They will face Greeneville for the girls JV championship Thursday night.

 

Happy Valley……………………35

Hunter…………………………….16

Katlyn Roberts had an 11-point surge in the third quarter that included three 3-pointers in a row as the Lady Jr. Warriors rose to a losers’ bracket victory. Roberts would finish the game with 13 to lead all scorers while Emily Whitaker provided 10 points for Happy Valley in the victory.

Chelsea Grub topped Hunter with four points.

A 35-8 Lady Jr. Warrior lead at the end of the third quarter prompted both coaching staffs to substitute heavily, and everyone in uniform saw action.

Happy Valley will face Chuckey Doak in action tonight.

 

Chuckey-Doak…………………25

Cloudland………………………..15

Madi McInturff was on fire for the Lady Jr. Black Knights to the tune of 13 points as Chuckey Doak defeated Cloudland.

Makayla Shell and Sage Arnett led the Lady Jr. Highlanders with four points apiece.

 

Church Hill……………………..48

Greeneville………………………22

It was business as usual for Greeneville, which cruised to a semifinal victory over Church Hill. Sydney Leonard turned in an 11-point effort, and Sydney Lollar sent in 13 points to propel the Lady Greene Devils to the championship game Thursday night against TAD.

Trinity Hammond appeared to take most of the offensive responsibilities of Church Hill upon herself as she tallied 15 points in the losing effort. Greeneville turned a 21-point halftime lead into 28 just 30 seconds later, and the second half became little more than a scrimmage for the Devils.

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