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Eagles unable to keep pace with Elizabethton

Cosby High junior Cody Valentine goes to the rim against the defense of two Elizabethton defenders in Saturday night’s 74-58 loss to the Cyclones.
Published: 11:03 AM, 01/07/2014 Last updated: 11:04 AM, 01/07/2014

Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

COSBY—Despite a solid effort in the first half, the Cosby Eagles didn't quite have enough to keep up with Elizabethton on Saturday, falling by a 74-58 score.

The Cyclones opened things up midway through the third quarter, thanks in large part to a 26 point performance from Zeke Clark. Tyler Nichols added 21 points, and Austin Cornett was also in double figures with 10 points.

Bryson Valentine and Cody Valentine led Cosby with 13 points apiece. Derrick Norris and Kyal Clevenger each added nine points.  

"It was definitely a game of runs," Cosby head coach Brad Flatford said. "We were down nine to start the second half and we talked about how the first three or four minutes were going to be big. We cut it to three, and then the next thing you know, three possessions later it's back to nine.

"We're going to have to make a commitment to do three things better: taking care of the ball, taking some pride in our defense, and our shot selection. If we have any inkling of going and playing anywhere in the postseason, we're going to have to improve in those three areas right now, because right now, we're just not very consistent in those three. Good basketball teams, they're going to do those things down the stretch. I thought we struggled in those areas tonight."

The Eagles (7-8) opened things up solidly in the first quarter, and they led 21-20 over the Cyclones heading to the second.

Things remained close in the second, but Elizabethton (13-5) held a 40-31 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.

"We did some good things at times, but other times we just went away from what we were doing it seemed like," Flatford said. "We got impatient with the ball. We didn't get back defensively to stop the ball. (Elizabethton) is too good to give them that many opportunities. They've got a good team, but we let it get away from us."

Despite the game kind of getting away from them in the second, Flatford saw several positives from the game on Saturday.

The Eagles shot 39 percent for the game. However, they also allowed the Cyclones to shoot 49

Overall, Flatford says it's just a matter of putting everything together. With about a month before the start of the District 2-A tournament, Cosby has a few weeks to catch fire.

"I thought (Cody Valentine) played hard on the defensive end and he got to basket pretty well," Flatford said. "I thought Derrick Norris battled inside and played hard. Bryson Valentine shot the ball well at times, but we have to have more output from other guys as well, particularly when you play good teams like Elizabethton. You're going to need everybody on board.

"We're still making a lot of the same mistakes we were making before (the layoff) and that concerns me in terms of taking care of the ball, not playing defense and our shot selection. We've got the pieces in place. I think we can do some stuff in the postseason, it's just a matter of putting it all together."

The Eagles host Oneida on Thursday in a solid non-district matchup.

ELIZABETHTON (74): Zeke Clark 26, Tyler Nichols 21, Austin Cornett  10, Deran Wells 7, Bo Pless 5, Conley Bowers 4, Caleb Lee 1

COSBY (58): Bryson Valentine 13, Cody Valentine 13, Derrick Norris 9, Kyal Clevenger 9, Jordan Self 5, Austin Ford 3, Keenan Phillips 3, Michael Kagel 3

3-Point FG: E (6) Nichols 3, Cornett 2, Clark. C (6) B. Valentine 3, K. Phillips, Self, Kagel. 

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