The Cyclones (17-4, 9-1) used an 11-2 run in the second quarter to rally from a seven-point deficit and take an 18-16 lead they would never relinquish. Leading 26-25 early in the third quarter, Elizabethton used a 10-0 burst to get the separation it needed and cruised from there.
“I thought we responded well in the second half,” said Elizabethton coach Lucas Honeycutt. “We contained their people well. This win gets us one step closer to where we want to be.”
The Rebels (19-8, 5-4) jumped out to a 14-7 lead with 5:57 left in the first half. But the Cyclones would have none of that and roared back to take a 24-20 advantage into the third quarter.
View the photo gallery from the boys’ game
Once they had the bit in their teeth, the Cyclones could not be slowed down.
“We shot so poorly tonight,” said South coach Michael McMeans. “You just can’t do that against a good team like Elizabethton. In the end, they made the hustle plays and we didn’t.”
Parker Hughes had a game-high 25 points to lead Elizabethton. Eric Wilson and Nico Ashley added a dozen each for the Cyclones. Ashley also had four blocked shots.
Chase Bowery led the Rebels with 21 points. Ben Diamond had 12 and Cole Layne netted 11.
LADY REBELS PICK UP CONFERENCE WIN
Sullivan South got 22 points from Mollie Leslie — 20 in the second half — in a 47-39 comeback win over Elizabethton.
The Lady Rebels (15-10, 5-4) trailed 23-14 early in the third quarter before Leslie went on a tear. She scored 12 points in the third quarter to help push the Lady Rebels in front 31-30 heading in to the final stanza.
View the photo gallery from the girls’ game
The other big key for South was a stout defensive effort.
Going against the Lady Rebels’ zone in the first half, the Lady Cyclones hit six 3-pointers. After the half, South went man-to-man and limited Elizabethton to just two second-half baskets, none after the 4:28 mark of the third quarter.
All of the Lady Cyclones’ scoring from that point on came at the free-throw line.
“I told the girls at the half we were getting out of that zone,” said South coach Terry Hutson. “We had to get after them in our man-to-man. Once our shots started falling you could see our demeanor change.”
Alex Harris added 15 points for South and Meredith St. Clair pulled down eight boards.
Kaylen Shell led Elizabethton (4-17, 3-7) with 13 points and 10 rebounds.