Lady Cyclones Upset by East in OT: Elizabethton Boys Test Pats, Absorb 9-point Loss
By Wes Holtsclaw
BLUFF CITY — For the first time since joining the Three Rivers Conference, Angel Trent and the Lady Patriots wouldn’t be denied.
Photo by Bart Nave/www.bart.ifp3.com - Elizabethton’s Savannah Madgett sizes up a mid-range shot.
Trent scored 29 points and teammate Tori James delivered a three-point play with 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime to deliver the league’s first stunner of the new year in a 57-56 upset of Elizabethton Friday at the Patriot Palace.
The Lady Cyclones led at the half and at the end of three, but the back-and-forth game turned to overtime where Elizabethton made four of its eight attempts at the charity stripe — 6-of-17 for the game — and East got the big bucket to fall when the game was at stake.
“We just missed too many easy shots and free throws and I thought East played really well offensively,” said Elizabethton coach Mike Wilson. “We had our chances but we couldn’t get anything in the hole. We did not play well at all on the offensive end and they did.”
The win was the first of two for East, as the Patriot boys overcame a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter to outlast the Cyclones 64-55.
Elizabethton had its hands full from the beginning in the girls’ contest.
Trent and Savannah Summers led the Lady Patriots to a two-point lead by the end of the first quarter. Trent scored eight second-quarter points to push the East lead to as much as five, but Elizabethton’s offense found a run of success behind Savannah Madgett’s eight points and Morgan Depew’s five points in the frame as Elizabethton grabbed the advantage heading into the half.
Whitney Roberts pushed the Cyclone tempo in the third quarter and stretched the lead to as much as seven with a pair of buckets. Needing a surge, Trent brought East back with a pair of treys, but Elizabethton held onto a two-point edge entering the final quarter.
Trent and Summers each tied the game early in the fourth quarter for East, spawning a stretch of back-and-forth play.
The Lady Patriots caught a break with two buckets from Trent for a four-point lead, but Lauren McCurry hit a trey and Caley Hodge added a single from the stripe to tie the game with one minute left in regulation.
The Lady Cyclones, who only made one of six free throw opportunities down the final stretch, had their backs against the wall with 6.7 seconds left as Trent hit a pair of free throws for an East advantage.
In the blink of an eye, however, Elizabethton’s Depew drove the length of the floor and found Hodge for a bucket at the buzzer to force overtime.
After Trent pushed East to a lead midway through the overtime period, Elizabethton pulled ahead from the stripe with four makes from Depew.
The Lady Patriots, down to a final possession, saw James deliver the late heroics with a shot rattling in with 1.4 seconds left.
The pressure was placed squarely on James, who was fouled on the attempt.
“She went 3-for-10 from the line three games ago, but she really worked at it,” said Sullivan East coach Allan Aubrey. “She really put in the time. I had a feeling she was going to make it and she did.”
Elizabethton was unable to get off a final shot and the Lady Patriots secured its biggest win since joining the Three Rivers.
“We’ve been heading in the right direction, but Elizabethton’s great,” Aubrey said. “We just played tough. I don’t know if we played great. I don’t know if they played great. It was a tough basketball game. Both teams wanted it so bad. It was huge for us just in a sense of toughness because we’ve got to believe in ourselves.”
Trent made four treys in her game-high 29 points on a night in which she was honored for reaching the 1,000-point plateau. She said the win over Elizabethton was bigger than the 1,000 points because it was a team effort.
“I wanted to beat them because it’s my last year,” said Trent. “We were pumped up and had energy going since (Friday) morning.
“We had to stop them on defense, we couldn’t let them shoot threes. We had to rebound and play with heart.”
Elizabethton was led by 15 from Depew and 13 from McCurry. Summers added 14 for the Lady Patriots.
Photo by Bart Nave/www.bart.ifp3.com - Elizabethton’s Will Robinson leans in for a shot in the paint.
Elizabethton turned a seven-point deficit into a first-half lead and gave Sullivan East all it wanted into the fourth quarter.
The Cyclones led by as four in the final frame, but the trio of Chance Davis, David Casaday and Jonathan King had other plans as they pushed East to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“They’re a classy team,” said Elizabethton coach Len Dugger of East.
“They’re a very good team. I told somebody, other than Science Hill, they may be the best team in the area. I thought for about 30 minutes we came over here on their floor and gave it to them.
“I thought we did some things that was very positive and we had a stretch around the five minute mark where we missed a few little buckets around the rim that if we could’ve finished them off, especially when we had a four point lead, it might’ve been a little different.”
Elizabethton fell behind 14-7 in the first quarter, but scored the first eight points of the second behind Justin Wandell and Alex Baughman to take a one-point lead into the second half.
Will Robinson and Baughman kept the Cyclones ahead in the third quarter, but Casaday, one of six East players to score in the stanza, willed his team to a one-point lead entering the fourth.
Aaron Miller and Wandell each tallied early makes in the final frame to return the lead to the Cyclones, but East had the final say.
“The kids are playing hard and I’m very proud of them,” said Dugger. “Coming over here and competing the way they did tonight shows character, and I think they truly want to be a very deep club. I was proud of our effort. This is part of the process of maturing and becoming a better team. A lot of kids came out there tonight and did some positive things.
“You’ve got to give East some credit. They’re a big club and very well coached. Coach Dyer does a heck of a job and he’s a class act. They’ve got a lot of people that can score too.”
Wandell led the game with 20 for Elizabethton, who got 11 from Miller and nine from Robinson.
Casaday tallied 19 for East with Davis adding 16.
The Cyclones return to action Monday with its first home game of the year against South Greene. Due to the BCS football game that night, the games will start one hour ahead of schedule with the girls tipping off at 5:30 and the boys at 7.