ELIZABETHTON — Elizabethton may not do anything great, but does everything good.
It’s a tough combination to beat.
The Cyclones continued their strong season, reaching the 20-win mark by brushing aside Sullivan North 68-58 on Friday night at Treadway Gym.
Elizabethton (7-3, 20-6) finished in a tie for second place in the Three Rivers Conference while the Raiders (6-4, 13-11) slipped into fourth place.
The Cyclones will be seeded third in the District 1-AA tournament, behind No. 1 Unicoi County and No. 2 Sullivan East. Boys action begins Friday at the Devils’ Den in Erwin.
In the girls’ contest, Elizabethton ran away from North by a score of 91-41.
Led by standout Chase Arnold, who was coming off a 40-point outburst, the Raiders quickly established a 13-6 lead.
However, like they normally do, the Cyclones got their footing and evened things up. Then in the second quarter, they went on a decisive 16-0 run to take a 34-21 advantage.
Four different players scored in that run, and the Ccylones finished with four players in double figures for the game.
“We started attacking and got the ball down low,” said Elizabethton head coach Len Dugger. “That was the biggest difference.”
That low-post attack was a central part of the secondquarter surge, said junior forward Will Robinson.
“We had a tough first quarter, but Coach Dugger said to get the ball inside,” said Robinson, who finished with 16 points and six rebounds. “That worked out for us.”
On the other end of the court, protecting the paint was a key in defending Arnold, who had 13 points in the first nine minutes of the game. Although Arnold finished with 26, he had to get the majority of the remainder from the perimeter.
“The scouting report said he gets most of his points inside 10 feet,” said Robinson. “He can shoot outside, too, but we had to stop him inside.”
Said Dugger, “(Arnold) is a heck of a basketball player. He’s capable of taking a game over.”
The Cyclones have multiple players who can impact a game, led by Justin Wandell. The senior guard finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Also coming up big were Aaron Miller (16 points) and Zeke Clark (11 points, seven assists).
“Zeke and Justin did a great job of getting everybody else the ball,” said Robinson.
Elizabethton twice opened up 14-point leads in the fourth quarter, but had trouble finishing. A 7-0 run by North cut the lead to 62-55 with just under two minutes left.
However, Robinson and Wandell made transition paint finishes within 18 seconds of each other to seal North’s fate.
Robinson said the Cyclones have plans of being a postseason factor.
“We’re definitely capable of getting a substate game at home,” said Robinson. “Going to the state is our goal. That’s what we’re striving to do.”
The Raiders got 12 points from Will White.
Elizabethton (girls) . . . . . . . 91 Sullivan North . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Morgan Depew led the way with five of the Lady Cyclones’ 12 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.
Four other Elizabethton players reached double figures, with Caley Hodge netting 15, Casey Jones totaling 13, Reazyn DeMoss hitting for 12, and Lauren McCurry adding 11.
The Lady Cyclones scored 26 points in the first and third quarters. They hit nine treys in the first half.
Kaysey Williams was the bright spot for North as she has been all season. She finished with three treys and 18 points.