ELIZABETHTON — It was a good win for Elizabethton's Lady Cyclones — and also a big loss.
In a 67-58 Three Rivers Conference win over Happy Valley on Friday night at Bayless Gym, standout guard Morgan Depew went down with a knee injury.
“It's a shame something had to happen to a kid like that,” said Lady Cyclones' head coach Len Dugger.
Depew was taken to the hospital during the game, and Dugger said x-rays did not reveal a broken bone as was originally feared. The senior will likely undergo an MRI on Monday.
In the boys' game, Elizabethton overcame a sluggish start and eventually ran away from the Warriors for a 57-33 victory.
It has been a brutal season for the Lady Cyclones on the injury front. Starter Lauren McCurry (stress fracture in foot) has missed a chunk of time, and key reserve Caley Hodge (broken tibia) may not be able to return this season.
Then Elizabethton lost Depew in the first quarter when she crumpled to the floor after a pivot. The Cyclones regrouped and built a 23-10 lead early in the second quarter.
However, Happy Valley battled back to close within 32-31 at the break. The Lady Warriors went ahead twice in the third quarter, but a 13-0 run by the Cyclones made it 47-35. Happy Valley didn't get closer than six points the rest of the way.
“From my perspective I saw a team really come together and pull together,” said Dugger. “After the injury, they played the rest of the game with determination and heart. I told them that's what Morgan would want them to do.”
Nobody stepped up more than senior Reazyn DeMoss. She dominated in the paint, and finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three steals.
“What can you say about Reazyn?” said Dugger. “She just put us on her shoulders.”
Whitney Roberts also stepped up. She totaled 16 points, 11 rebounds and four steals for the Cyclones, who improved to 4-0 in league play and 15-3 overall.
Happy Valley (1-2, 8-8) got standout efforts from McKenzie Blankenship (22 points) and Shalee Perry (14 points, 6 assists, five rebounds and three steals).
Happy Valley 33
It was 16-13 with just two minutes left before halftime. However, the Cyclones closed with a 6-0 run and never let Happy Valley back in the game.
Elizabethton put things away with a dominant 20-3 run in the second half.
“We had a lot of energy because of the big rivalry,” said Cyclones' head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “And I think we missed some short shots because of it. But we played pretty good defense, moved our feet well, and we rebounded. And then we came out of it offensively in the second half.”
That was especially true for Zeke Clark, who knocked down 13 of his 17 points after the break. Clark has been on a hot streak lately, scoring 17, 18 and 17 points in his last three games.
“Our team draws a lot of attention, and I've been getting more open shots,” said Clark. “And lately I've just hit more shots.”
Zach Norwood also got in the mix, totaling 10 points, six rebounds and six steals.
“Those two guys make a lot of things happen,” said Honeycutt.
Elizabethton improved to 3-1 in Three Rivers Conference play and 13-5 overall.
Clark said the Cyclones are still a work in progress.
“We are not where we expect ourselves to be,” said Clark. “We want to get to where we are the best around here. As long as we work hard, we can get to where we need to be.”
Meanwhile it was another tough night for the Warriors, who fell to 0-4 in league play and 4-13 overall.
No Happy Valley player reached double figures in scoring, but Brennen Bailey led the way with eight points.