ELIZABETHTON — Anybody who knows Elizabethton knows the Marosites twins, but the Lady Cyclones are developing some other problems for opponents.
Sarah Robinson, Emily Kiser and Megan Pietrowski played important roles as Elizabethton ran away from Happy Valley for a 71-33 victory in a Three River Conference basketball contest at Treadway Gym on Friday night.
The Cyclones improved to 2-0 in league play and 7-1 overall. Happy Valley fell to 0-2, 5-4.
In the boys’ game Elizabethton broke open a tight contest with a strong third quarter, getting big games from Tyler Nichols and Zeke Clark en route to a 61-45 victory.
Kelci Marosites and Kayla Marosites did their thing, combining for 29 points with Kelci getting 16. Kelci also had six rebounds and four steals while Kayla had three blocked shots.
Of course those contributions are very important, but if the Lady Cyclones are going to get down the road a ways they will likely need consistency from players like Robinson. She had seven points and dominated the glass with 12 rebounds.
“I told you back in June I felt like Sarah Robinson might be one player people will be surprised with her level of play,” said Elizabethton head coach Len Dugger. “Each night she has done something a little better. She’s a huge key to how good we will be come tournament time.”
Meanwhile, Kiser came off the bench for a 14-point performance, helping the Lady Cyclones break loose in the second quarter. Pietrowski did damage in the third quarter as Elizabethton was ending any doubt, and finished with nine points.
“Emily gave us another scorer they weren’t expecting,” said Dugger. “Megan got down on herself early, but in the second half she gave us some positive things.”
It was a bit of a struggle early for the Lady Cyclones as they forged ahead to an 8-7 lead late in the first quarter. Kelci Marosites closed the first quarter with a 3-pointer, which touched off an 11-0 run to give Elizabethton a cushion it would not relinquish.
Happy Valley got back into the mix briefly, but the Cyclones closed strong and led 31-16 at halftime.
Elizabethton then opened the second half with an 8-2 spurt to blow the game open. The Lady Cyclones later added a 12-0 jolt late in the third quarter.
Happy Valley was led in scoring by Mackenzie Blankenship’s 12-point effort.
Happy Valley 45
Neither team seemed to find much of an offensive rhythm in the first half. The Cyclones finally got a little edge late in the second quarter, and took a 26-17 advantage into the locker room.
Elizabethton head coach Lucas Honeycutt said he was OK with his team’s effort.
“They played as hard as they could,” said Honeycutt. “I kind of feel like the last conference win (over Sullivan North). It wasn’t pretty, but the kids made strides. We did things better this game than we did last game.”
Happy Valley scored first in the third quarter, but it was all Elizabethton (2-0, 6-2) after that. The Cyclones went on a dominant 17-2 run to put the game away.
Nichols jump-started the explosion with a rare five-point play. Nichols scored and was fouled as he made the bucket. Before he could shoot the free throw, Happy Valley was slapped with a technical foul. Nichols made all three of his free throw attempts, and then missed a 3-pointer to fall just short of a quick-strike eight-point swing.
Nichols finished with 18 points, four steals and three blocked shots.
“He’s explosive,” said Honeycutt. “He gave us a jump-start. Most teams don’t have a kid like that. He’s a special kid, and he’s going to get better as the season goes along.”
Clark also played a major role in the win. He matched Nichols’ 18 points and added seven rebounds and four assists.
Happy Valley (0-2, 1-10) got 12 points from Corey Matherly, 11 from Josh Hammonds, and 10 from Zack Hyder.