ERWIN — Sullivan East wouldn’t go away, so Elizabethton just kept its foot on the gas.
The Lady Cyclones held off the determined Patriots 72-67 in the semifinals of the District 1-AA girls basketball tournament Saturday at Devils Den.
Elizabethton improved to 20-9 on the season and moved into Monday’s championship, where it will play Unicoi County (23-6) at 8 p.m. The Lady Blue Devils earned their spot with a 58-34 win over Happy Valley.
Elizabethton head coach Mike Wilson said the 20 wins was a good accomplishment for his team.
“With what this team has gone through this year, to get to 20 wins and be in the district championship game I think tells you what kind of kids we’ve got in that locker room,” said Wilson.
Morgan Depew and Reazyn DeMoss wreaked havoc on the Patriots. Depew finished with 26 points, 10 assists and five steals while DeMoss totaled 22 points and four 3-pointers.
“We’ve been ready to play in the district for about three weeks,” said DeMoss.
DeMoss said her shooting has improved through hard work.
“I’ve been staying in the gym after practice,” she said. “I’ve worked on my shot almost every day.”
East had a 9-2 run and a 9-0 spurt in the first half while the Cyclones had runs of 14-3 and 13-4, adding up to a 31-30 Elizabethton lead at the break.
The Cyclones built a 57-44 lead with 4:42 left in the game, but East was not done. The Patriots’ 16-5 run was highlighted by two 3-pointers from Savanna Summers, and East was within 62-60 with 1:11 left in the game.
However, Depew helped seal the win from the free throw line, hitting 5 of 8 tosses to make it 67-60. Courtney Stewart’s 3-pointer with 10.9 seconds left made it 69-67, but Depew responded with two more free throws to clinch it.
Lauren McCurry finished with 11 points for the Cyclones, who also got seven points and 10 rebounds from Whitney Roberts.
Angel Trent was a big factor for East (16-14). She hit four of her team’s nine 3-pointers and finished with 26 points and seven rebounds. Summers added 18 points and nine rebounds.
Unicoi County 58
Happy Valley 34
After a bit of a slow start, the Lady Blue Devils turned things on in the second quarter.
An 18-6 advantage gave them a 32-17 halftime lead and they never looked back.
“Our girls did a good job, especially early, playing good defense,” said Unicoi head coach Joshua Epperson. “And we did a good job taking care of the ball in the first half with only two turnovers.”
Despite foul trouble limiting her minutes, Emily Edwards paced the Blue Devils with 22 points. Whitley True came off the bench to knock in 11 points.
Happy Valley (11-18) was led in scoring by freshman Jenna Eaton, who finished with nine points.