It may not have been raining outside of Elizabethton High School on Friday afternoon, but inside Treadway gym it was raining three-point shots, courtesy of Sullivan Central.
The Lady Cougars shot 25 long-range shots, hitting on nine of them as Central held off Happy Valley by a 51-40 tally in the Chick-fil-A Lady Cyclone Classic.
The Lady Warriors (7-7) played Central (7-8) to a standoff after one period with the game tied at 15-15, but the Cougars began to find the range in the second quarter, hitting three of four from distance in taking a 30-25 lead into the lockerroom.
Guard Tiffany Norris hit four of five 3-pointers in the contest for her 12 points, but it was fellow guard Sydney Norwood who had a game high of 18 — going 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
“We shot well tonight,” Central head coach Gary Surcey commented. “We’re feeling like road warriors with all the tournaments. It saps you a little bit, but tonight Norris got hot.
“Carrie Gouge was really hurting us under the boards, she played awfully well. We had to give help underneath to handle her.”
Gouge was the rebound leader of the game with 10 — four on the offensive glass — and she tallied a team-high 11 points for HV on the night.
In the third period the Warriors offense went AWOL, scoring just four points in the stanza despite an early three by senior wing Kamren Lawson, while Central tallied 14 to take a 44-29 advantage into the fourth quarter.
“That’s how we are,” said Lady Warriors head coach Erica Beach. “We had three players not here today, and that hurt our stamina. Central was nailing the three, and when you are getting points three at a time instead of two, it can put you in a hole very quickly.”
Happy Valley closed to within nine points at 45-36 with 4:40 remaining, but Norwood nailed a trey and after a steal she dropped in a layup as Sullivan Central began to pull away.
The Warriors scrapped back from there as Breana Campbell and Kenzie Blankenship hit back-to-back deuces, but the clock was now an issue with just over a minute left and Central holding a 50-40 lead.
“Our girls always work hard and fight to the end,” said Beach. “But tonight, Central hit those threes and it was enough for them to come out on top.”