Lady Longhorns in good form but lose to Rebels
By Jonathan PleasantThe Johnson County Lady Longhorns played their first real game of the season last week, traveling all the way to South Greene to take on the Lady Rebels. Following a rough couple of scrimmages against David Crockett and Cocke County, the Lady Longhorns were back in good form and beginning to look like the team that impressed so many fans last year.
Senior Sarah Swift carried the evening in scoring making a series of baskets in every quarter to ultimately rack up 19 of the team’s 45-point total. “I wouldn’t say I’ve been putting more effort into it,” Swift said, “but as one of the leaders on the team I feel like I need to set a good example and that’s what I’m trying to do.” Yet, Swift also pointed out one of the biggest early challenges to overcome was accuracy from the free throw line.
“We played really well, but what really killed us were our foul shots, honestly,” Swift said. “We played great, we had chemistry together, every body was talking on defense, boxing out and rebounding. We were doing all the things that we needed to do except foul shots. I’m just talking as a team, but we work on the free throws everyday in practice and people do struggle with it because it’s more of mental thing. Everyone can shoot the ball, that’s not a big deal, but when you actually get up to the line then it comes down to your mental capability. It’s different for everybody and we just need to get better on that as a team.”
Playing against a tough team like the Lady Rebels, things looked bleak at several points, but Johnson County’s persistence really showed itself as the team battled back more than once from a 14-point deficit in the second half to cut the game within three points of taking the lead. “We just made some critical mistakes that are very correctible,” said head coach Todd Whittemore. “We had some turnovers, a couple of missed assignments, but I thought we did a great job. With about two minutes to go we had them, South Greene, in their gym, holding the ball. That’s a great sign. South Greene is usually throwing it and going at it and if you can get them to the point that they want to hold the ball you must be doing something right.”
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