ELIZABETHTON — Catching fire in the third quarter, Elizabethton’s girls had plenty of hunger in their games.
The Lady Cyclones scored the first 16 points of the second half and never looked back in a 53-29 whipping of Sullivan East on Thursday night at Treadway Gymnasium.
Elizabethton (9-0, 18-3) clinched a tie for the Three Rivers Conference title. East fell to 7-3 in league play and 21-6 overall.
Leading 23-14 at halftime, Elizabethton took care of business at both ends of the court in the third quarter. Head coach Len Dugger said his halftime message was fairly simple.
“I just said, ‘For 16 minutes, let’s see how hard we can play on the defensive end,’ ” said Dugger. “I told them to slow down on offense and let the game come to us a little bit.
“I was bragging on them after the game. They really responded to the challenge.”
Kelci Marosites, who struggled in the first half, hit a trey ball to jump start the second half. Sister Kayla Marosites responded with a pair of buckets, and then Kelci dropped home another special delivery from trey country.
Then Kayla scored again, and Kelci followed with another bucket. When Sarah Robinson finished off the run, it was 39-14 and the game was basically over.
Kayla Marosites finished with a superb all-around game, totaling 25 points, five rebounds and seven steals. The sophomore guard said the thefts usually just happen in the flow.
“I just read the offense, and it just comes naturally to me,” she said. “And when I play good defense, that’s when my offense usually comes.”
Dugger said Kayla Marosites impacted the game in multiple ways.
“I told her the things she did tonight away from scoring buckets were very huge,” said Dugger. “She kept the ball alive on the offensive glass, had deflections, tough rebounds. She worked very hard tonight.”
Kelci Marosites finished with 12 points and three assists. Robinson added five points, but dominated in the paint with 14 rebounds.
“She’s a quick jumper and has a knack for getting rebounds in traffic,” said Dugger. “We need to get her back to the level she was playing at in Spartanburg (S.C.). She was unbelievable.”
Megan Pietrowski chipped in with five points, six rebounds and three assists.
It was a tough night overall for the Lady Patriots. Nobody reached double figures in scoring with Megan Addison leading the way with eight points.