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Cyclones can't keep pace with 'The Feet' at Arby's

By Johnny Wilson, Sports Correspondent • Dec 27, 2019 at 2:05 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — The Webb School of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, displayed terrific defensive pressure all over the basketball court and was just too much for Elizabethton in Thursday’s nightcap of the 37th annual Arby’s Classic.

Living up to its nickname “The Feet,” Webb’s footspeed and defensive presence hounded the Cyclones into numerous turnovers, producing a 65-45 final at Viking Hall.

Officially, the Cyclones committed 19 turnovers, although it seemed like more.

Elizabethton coach Lucas Honeycutt could only tip his hat to Webb’s D.

“It’s a lot like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” Honeycutt said. “I mean, there’s a lot of little things we talk about all the time that are just magnified when you have defense like that.

“I think with this team it’s more quickness, and they do a pretty good job of staying down on the floor. They’re not like some athletic teams that just jump around. They stay on the floor, use their speed, take charges ... they play a lot more fundamental than you might expect. They’re really smart.”

The up side for the Cyclones (2-7) is that such an outing should help in January.

Honeycutt, whose team is without injured multisport athletes Parker Hughes and Bryson Rollins for the meantime, acknowledged as much.

“It’s something we’ve been working on, but it should help us against other teams, especially in our conference,” Honeycutt said.

“We’re looking to see how much these things are going to help moving forward.”

The Webb School (7-0) forced 11 first-half turnovers, providing itself with a commanding 37-21 advantage at intermission.

"Well, we really work on (defense)," said Webb coach Jeff Mitchell. "We try to be physical and we try to make things difficult on our opponent. Of course, it helps to have quickness and high basketball IQs, which we have."

Offensively, The Feet were excellent as well, shooting 48% from the floor. Jordan Jenkins led the winners with 24 points, and J.J. Platt kicked in 20.

Amos Howard had five of Webb’s 14 steals, many of which turned into layups.

Elizabethton was led offensively by Jake Roberts’ 13 points of Jake Roberts and Nico Ashley’s 11. The Cyclones hit 8 of 16 shots from 3-point range, including a 4-of-6 effort by Roberts.

NORTH MECKLENBURG 70, SEVIER COUNTY 50

North Mecklenburg, the 2017 Arby’s champion, led throughout the game and pulled away late to claim its opening-round win over Sevier County.

The Vikings allowed the Smoky Bears to hang around much of the night until the Huntersville, North Carolina school scored the final 13 points of the game.

Up 15-6 after one quarter, North Mecklenburg led 27-22 at halftime and 47-41 through three periods.

Tristan Maxwell, a 6-foot-3 Georgia Tech commit and the son of longtime NBA guard Vernon Maxwell, fought through foul issues to push the Vikings to victory, scoring 21 points and doling out four assists. He hit four 3-pointers.

Chris Ford provided excellent support with 16 points, and harassing teammate Trayden Williams provided 14 points, six assists and four steals.

Sevier County stayed in the game the best it could behind the 27-point outing of Wes Maples. Jonathan Zhao-Olmos scored 11 for the Smoky Bears, who made just 5 of 25 shots from 3-point range.

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