It was a big night for Elizabethton basketball.
The Cyclones earned a share of the Three Rivers Conference title with a 46-35 victory over Sullivan Central, while the Lady Cyclones rallied in a big way to hand Sullivan Central their first regular season Three Rivers loss in two seasons in a 61-56 decision.
For the Cyclones, the defense set the tone early.
Elizabethton held the Cougars to just four points in the opening eight minutes, and the Cyclones took an 11-4 lead into the second quarter. Parker Hughes hit a pair of shots in the second quarter to keep the EHS offense moving. Central, however, was able to cut into the Elizabethton lead as the Cyclones held a 23-20 led at the half.
Points were at a premium in the third quarter as Nico Ashley and Bryson Rollins combined for Elizabethton’s seven points in the frame. Central only scored nine points in the quarter – enough to enter the fourth quarter within one of the visiting Cyclones.
EHS saw Evan Perkins and Eric Wilson hit big 3-pointers in the final eight minutes, and Elizabethton slowly pulled away by outscoring Central 16-6 to secure the win.
Ashley led Elizabethton with 11 points, and Hughes had 10 points. Rollins and Wilson had nine and eight points, respectively.
In the Lady Cyclones’ game, the Lady Cougars started out quick.
Abbey Crawford scored 12 points in the first quarter to power Central to an 18-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. McKendra Norris helped spark the EHS offense with five second-quarter points, but the Lady Cyclones were unable to dent the SC lead as they trailed 36-24 at the half.
Elizabethton, however, started battling back in the second half.
Kaylen Shell scored eight points in the third quarter, while Morgan Headrick tallied six points in the quarter to help EHS trim the Central lead to 44-38. Elizabethton continued to trim into the lead with big shots from Torrie Roberts, Cheyenne VanHuss and a trey from Kaitlin Bailey to tie the game. From there, EHS took control for the upset.
Shell led Elizabethton with 19 points, while Headrick added 14 points. Roberts tallied 12 points in the win.