When Reazyn DeMoss hit her second three-point basket in the first quarter, she knew it was going to be a good night.
It was a night as good as it could get for the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones.
After DeMoss’ early boost, the Lady Cyclones used the outside game to build a lead an early lead and wore their opponent down with their tenacity and size on the boards. At the end of the 32-minute contest, the state’s top-ranked Class AA Grainger Lady Grizzlies were unable to weather the storm.
Undefeated no more.
The senior DeMoss capped an impeccable 15-point first half with 22 points and freshman Kelci Marosites delivered a 23-point night as Elizabethton (27-4) delivered the upset on its home floor, claiming the Region 1-AA championship with a 75-50 victory over Grainger (32-1) at Treadway Gymnasium.
The win places EHS on its home floor for Saturday’s Class AA sectional game against Alcoa, which fell 62-44 to Christian Academy of Knoxville in the Region 2-AA final.
“It’s amazed me the last six weeks or so,” said Lady Cyclones coach Len Dugger. “We lose Morgan, we lose Caley and we had injuries. We had three starters out. We met on Sunday after the Happy Valley game (in January) and we knew Morgan was hurt bad. I said, ‘Girls, you’ve just got to believe in what I’m going to say. I honestly feel like we can get done what we set out to do in June. It won’t be as easy.’ That crew just pulled together and have played so well together.
“I told them (Tuesday), ‘You’re going to have to play your best game of the year.’ I honestly believe they did. The heart we played with, the determination and the poise we played with, the big shots that were made — I’m so happy. I’m tickled to death. We’ve overcome some adversity and that’s part of life too. We’ve had some things to deal with this year.”
DeMoss, who was named tournament MVP, added 14 rebounds, two steals and a pair of assists. Marosites tallied four rebounds, two steals, two assists and one block. The two, which combined for all seven of the Lady Cyclones’ three-point makes in the first half, led Elizabethton to a five-point lead at the end of one and four-point lead at the midway point.