Sullivan East bottles up Lady Longhorns 40-23

Courtney Brooks #20 scores JC’s first points of the game against East.

By Tim Chambers

To win a big game you have to play a complete game and Johnson County failed to do so on Friday night against Sullivan East. Their stingy defense allowed only 40 points but their offense scored 17 less, resulting in a 40-23 loss inside of jammed packed Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
It appeared as if Johnson County would challenge in the first quarter. Courtney Brooks drove the lane for two quick buckets but East responded by going on a 16-0 run.
Kylee Wolfe tossed in three treys and Kassidy responded with five points that allowed East to move in front 16-4. Emmy Miller scored at the buzzer for Johnson County but they trailed 16-6 after one.
JCHS’ head coach Leon Tolley watched his team go five minutes without scoring in the first quarter and suffer another five-minute drought in the second period without a point. He said the Pats had a lot to do with that.
“I told our kids that East is a team that we should inspire to be like,” said Tolley. “They play hard and they share the basketball. They lost a lot of players from last year and people said they would be down, but they’re proving them wrong. It’s strictly from an effort point. It was simply basketball 101 for us tonight. Our girls are not ready for that stage or that kind of competition, but that’s where we have to get to if we’re going to do anything.”
East picked up where they left off and scored seven straight points to start the second. Taylor Parsons and Hazlee Kleine broke the drought with a couple of deuces to get them back within a baker’s dozen.
The Longhorns shot only 3-of-10 in the frame and turned it over at one stretch five consecutive times.
They trailed 27-12 at the half.
It only got worse for the Lady Horns in the third quarter. They went seven minutes without a point and trailed 36-15 heading into the fourth.
Brooks scored half of her team high 12 points in the final quarter, but a basket from Taylor Cox was the only other time they scored.
“East speeds you up, they get you rattled and out of sync,“ added Tolley. “We couldn’t slow down. We score on our first two possessions, then everything went haywire. Even the simple things you take for granted we couldn’t do. That’s a credit to East because they had us completely discombobulated, tore all to pieces. Credit them because they deserve every bit of it. I hope our kids learned a great lesson from it.”
East is now 3-2 in league play on the season. Johnson County falls to 2-3.

Sullivan East 40, Johnson Co. 23

Johnson Co. (23)
C. Brooks 12, Parsons 5, Miller 2, Cox 2, Kleine 2, Hall 0, Winters 0, Stout 0, Cornett 0.

Sullivan East (40)
Wolfe 15, Hanover 12, Ollis 6, Nelson 5, Holden 2

East 16 11 9 4 — 40
J.C. 6 6 3 8 — 23
3-point goals—JC 0. SE 5 (Wolfe 5)

Patriots rally to defeat Longhorns 58-52

JC’s Bud Icenhour  attempts to shoot over East’s Cory Chapman #11.

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County was hoping that its 11-point lead in the third quarter would stick like gorilla glue on plastic. Instead it faded away like newspaper pictures on Silly Putty.
East rallied for a 58-52 win after trailing 36-25 with 5:28 remaining in the third period. The keys to their comeback were simple.
Poor free throw shooting, getting whipped on the boards and not valuing offensive possessions were factors in the game that they couldn’t overcome. Head coach Austin Atwood summed up the disappointing loss.
“We’re not going to win very many games when Bud takes only six shots and we miss 10 free throws and a sack full of layups,” said Atwood. “Plus we got killed on the boards and Blake didn’t play well either. He got his shots but he has to make those. Zack Eller is stepping up and doing his part and Troy is playing much better. Lucas Phillips and Gavin Reece are doing their part, but everyone has to play well at the same time in order for us to win. It’s all about finding the right combinations and tonight we didn’t do that.”
East opened up in a box-in-one defensively on Johnson County’s Bud Icenhour who had knocked down nine treys and scored 30 points against Happy Valley. He had trouble shaking free from his defender and help was always there when he did.
That forced the remaining quartet of Longhorns to score to try and hang with the highly regarded Patriots.
Zack Eller gave the Horns a 5-2 lead by swishing a trey, then troy Arnold pulled them even with a three-point play after East had gone up 9-6.
Both teams were knotted at 9-9 heading into the second quarter.
Johnson County got its offense going getting consecutive treys from Blake Atwood, Eller and Icenhour.
They managed to hold a 25-21 halftime lead but it could have been a whole lot more.
The Longhorns missed seven bunnies in the paint and were 2-of-8 from the foul line. East cashed in on their missed opportunities to stay in the hunt.
The duo of Eller and Nathan Arnold kept the Horns even with their outstanding play in the third quarter. Eller fired in two more treys and Arnold added five points including a trifecta. A late basket by Troy Arnold dead-locked the game at 42-42 heading into the final quarter.
Turnovers and cold shooting would spell defeat for Johnson County in the final stanza after they had gotten off to a dynamite start.
Atwood drained a trey and Icenhour added a three-point play to put them up 48-42. That’s where the wheels came off the wagon for Johnson County.
East tied the game on baskets by Adam Davidson and Mason Johnson then moved in front on another Johnson basket. They capped off the 11-0 run with a pair of free throws by Davidson that put them up 53-48. Eller had a trey that got them back to within one but the Longhorns couldn’t overcome several miscues down the stretch to pull out a much needed win.
The Longhorns turned the ball over four times during the 11-0 run and East turned that into nine points. They ended the game shooting 4-of-14 from the foul line and misfired inside on three-point blank shots which also didn’t help matters.
“There are no excuses for not making free throws and layups,” added Atwood. “We fouled a three-point shooter late in the game plus we allowed them to dominate us on the board. Those things add up and it cost us the ball game.”
The Longhorns still had opportunities to come away with a victory despite all their miscues. They turned it over in the final minute with a chance to tie and misfired on a trey.
Eller knocked down six treys en route to his game high 18 points to lead the Longhorns. Atwood added nine points and the Arnold duo of Nathan and Troy scored seven points apiece. Icenhour was held to six and Jordan Edes finished with five.
Davidson tied for high game honors with Eller by scoring 18 points for East. Ethan Whitley added 15 points, six that came from the charity stripe. Johnson reached double figures with 11.
The Patriots had a huge size advantage led by 6’7 center Dayne Davis. He finished the game with 10 rebounds helping East t to a whooping 39-20 edge. Whitney added nine boards and Johnson collected seven.
East was plus nine from the foul line making 13-of-20.
Edes-King had seven rebounds to lead the Longhorns. Nathan Arnold dished out six assists in addition to his five rebounds. Atwood added four assists and three steals.
Johnson County fell into a three-way tie for fourth place with Elizabethton and Sullivan South. They are currently 2-3 in league play and 11-7 overall.

Sullivan East 58, Johnson County 52

Eller 18, Atwood 9, N. Arnold 7, T. Arnold 7, Icenhour 6, Edes-King 5, Phillips 0, Reece 0

Davidson 18, Whitley 15, Johnson 11, Davis 5, Bartley 4, Lowe 4, Chapman 0.

Johnson Co . 8 17 17 10 — 52
Sullivan East 12 9 21 16 — 58
3-point goals—JC 10 (Eller 6, Atwood 2, N. Arnold 2, Icenhour 1) SE 5 (Davidson 2, Whitley 2, Johnson)

JCHS Longhorn JV’s continue to impress

By Tim Chambers

The junior varsity Longhorns have looked impressive racking up three convincing wins in their last three games.
They knocked off Sullivan East 80-63 behind a 30-point output by Lucas Phillips. Darin Cunningham had a night to remember, scoring 19 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Michael Oxendine tallied 19 points while Gavin Reece chipped in with 10 points and a team high seven assists.
They also pulled out a 62-50 win at Sullivan Central.
Gavin Reece led the way with a game high 20 points. Michael Oxendine added 17 points and Lucas Phillips provided nine. Clayton Cross just missed double figures with eight points.
They sandwiched in a 68-44 victory over Happy Valley at home on Tuesday inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.

Lucas Phillips and Gavin Reece scored 19 and 13 points respectively to lead the way. Michael Oxendine tallied nine points and Clayton Cross collected seven. Will Henson and Dylan Simcox scored five points each as several Longhorns made their way into the box score.

Junior Horns hold off Happy Valley 39-36; girls fall 29-19

By Tim Chambers

AFTON—Like a bottle of Coke, Johnson County was the real thing in their semifinal game of the District Middle School Tournament and will now play Hampton in the championship on Tuesday. The Junior High Longhorns earned a refreshing 39-36 win over Happy Valley at Chuckey-Doak Middle School on Monday in a game that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.
The Longhorns were holding a one-point advantage but had missed on their last couple of trips at the charity stripe. That’s when “Lady Luck” looked down on them.
Preston Greer got the ball on the wing and swished a trey with six seconds remaining. A last second shot by the Warriors was well off the mark allowing the Longhorns to escape with the victory.
Head coach Devin Shaw was all smiles after watching his team prevail despite three key players out with injuries and sickness.
“We knew it would be hard with all those guys missing, but our kids did a great job of stepping up and not quitting,” said Shaw. “It was hard trying to overcome that plus Corie (Neely) and Nate (Rice) fouled out in the fourth quarter. We had a little trouble hanging on at the end, but I thought our pressure gave them some problems.”
Shaw smiled when asked about Greer’s shot.
“I wanted him to hold the ball and let the clock run,” added Shaw. “He was open and hit a big shot. I felt like that was the type of play that showed we didn’t quit. We kept playing till the final horn. We played to win and not to lose.”
The trio of Greer, Neely and Zack Parsons sparked Johnson County to a 15-13 lead after one. Parsons scored six points including a trey. Neely and Greer tallied four apiece.
They opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run with a steal and a layup by Parsons and four points from Neely. Landon Babb kept Happy Valley close with a pair of baskets but they trailed Johnson County 24-21 at the half.
The Longhorns extended their lead in the third quarter using baskets by Gavin Ward, Greer and Parsons to go up 33-27 heading into the final quarter.
Greer’s jumper with 3:41 remaining kept the lead at six but the Warriors made a final run.
Babb’s basket and another one from James Murray got them within one at 37-36 with 36 seconds remaining.
The Longhorns came away empty on two trips to the foul line before Greer hit his big shot.
Greer finished the game with 13 points and three steals. Neely provided 12 points, seven rebounds and five steals before fouling out. Parsons had a double-double with 11 points and a game high 13 rebounds. Ward and Rice collected five rebounds each. Dalton Brown and a pair of steals in the final quarter that helped seal the win.
Babb and Andrew Little scored seven points apiece for the Warriors.
Game time for Tuesday’s championship game is set for 7:30, weather permitting.

Happy Valley 29
Johnson County 19
The Lady Longhorns appeared ready to pull off a possible upset in their game by jumping on top 9-4 after one.
Savannah McKinney’s bucket put the Longhorns on the board and Jamie Eshelman added two jumpers that put them ahead 6-4.
Macey Luckett’s three in the final seconds put the Lady Horns in front 9-4 after one.
Both teams went scoreless for nearly four minutes in the second quarter but Happy Valley caught fire late in the frame. They closed the quarter on a 12-0 run and led 16-9 at the half.
Their offensive woes continued in the third quarter. The Longhorns scored only three points and trailed 23-12 going into the final quarter.
Johnson County made a late run getting two baskets by Sydni Potter and one each from McKinney and Luckett but couldn’t stop the Lady Warriors’ big gun.
Autumn Henegar scored a game high 15 points with all of them coming in the final three quarters.
Luckett topped the Longhorns with seven points. McKinney, Potter and Eshelman all tallied four apiece. Gracie Grayson led the rebounding with seven.
The Lady Longhorns were to play for third place on Tuesday at 4 pm.

Boys Semifinals
JCMS 39, HV 36

Johnson Co. (39)
Greer 13, Neely 12, Parsons 11, Ward 2, Rice 1, Brown 0

Happy Valley (36)
Babb 7, Little 7, Stephens 5, Williams 4, Murray 5, Workman 3, Gorman 1, Ellis 4

JCMS 15 9 9 6 — 39
H.V. 13 8 6 9 — 36
3-point goals—JC 1 (Parsons 1) HV 1 (Little 1)

Girls Semifinals
Happy Valley 29, JCMS 19

JCMS (19)
Luckett 7, McKinney 4, Potter 4, Eshelman 4, Grayson 0

Henegar 15, Hall 7, Keller 4, Bailey 3

JCMS 9 0 3 7 — 19
H.V. 4 12 5 8 —- 29
3-point goals—JC 1 (Luckett 1) HV 1 (Henegar 1)

Lady Longhorns crush Happy Valley Warriors 59-42

JC’s Emmy Miller scores two of her 11 points against HV.

By Tim Chambers

It’s been a hard lock to pick, but Lady Longhorns’ head coach Leon Tolley appears to have found the right combination for success. His squad played possibly their best game of the year by knocking off Happy Valley 59-42 on Friday night inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
Tolley was extremely pleased with how his team bounced back from a hard fought three-point loss at Sullivan Central. He touched on their performance over the 32-minute span.
“This is two games in a row that we’ve taken our practice preparation and put it to use in the game,” said Tolley. “We prepared for them and the girls did a great job of applying what they learned. We got off to a good start but it could have been better. We made a couple of quick ones then got a little nervous. But they didn’t buckle when Happy Valley turned up the heat.”
Johnson County’s first two offensive possessions set the tone for the game.
Natalie Winters made a beautiful pass to Adrian Hall for a layup, then got loose on the baseline for a basket and a 4-0 lead.
They got another boost from the play of Sadie Stout off the bench. The freshman guard entered the game early and proceeded to score seven points in the quarter. Her 3-ball broke a 6-6 tie and gave them the lead for good at 9-6. Happy Valley never led in the game.
They got close at 11-10 but Johnson County closed the period with baskets by Abby Cornett and Stout.
The Longhorns led 15-10 after one.
Things got even better for the Lady Longhorns in the second stanza.
Taylor Parsons opened the quarter with a basket followed by a long three by Cornett. They stretched the lead to 24-13 on a nice feed by Courtney Brooks to Hazlee Kleine for a deuce with 3:45 remaining in the half.
The Warriors got it back to eight a couple of times but the Horns cashed in on baskets by Taylor Cox, Stout and Emmy Miller. Johnson County held a 30-18 halftime advantage.
Any hopes of a Warrior comeback were quickly erased early in the third quarter.
Stout stretched the Horns’ lead to 15 by connecting on a three and Parsons followed with a foul line jumper. The lead finally reached 20 after Parsons, Miller and Cox connected for a deuce each.
They were comfortably in front 46-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Happy Valley tried to up the pressure but instead got hit with the dagger. Hall drained a long trey that gave them a 22-point cushion. Both teams substituted freely in the final two minutes.
The Longhorns displayed a well-balanced scoring attack led by Stout’s 12 points. Parsons and Miller added 11 points and eight rebounds apiece. Cornet provided seven points while Hall and Cox collected five each.

Johnson County 59, Happy Valley 42

Henegar 18, Roberts 12, Long 4, Green 4, Absher 2, Campbell 2

Stout 12, Parsons 11, Miller 11, Cornett 7, Hall 5, Cox 5, C. Brooks 4, Winters 2, Kleine 2

H.V. 10 8 10 14 — 42
J.C. 15 15 16 13 — 59
3-point goals—JC 4 (Stout 2, Hall 1, Cornett) HV 5 (Henegar 3, Roberts 2)

Long-range Longhorns top Happy Valley Warriors 76-48, Icenhour swishes nine treys and scores 30 points

Lucas Phillips #22 scores for JC over HV’s Dakota Cochran #23.

By Tim Chambers

Trying to watch Johnson County score against Happy Valley was like watching snow flurries on a 35 degree day. There were plenty of flakes that came down but nothing was on the ground to show for it.
That all changed in the second quarter behind an avalanche of treys from Bud Icenhour.
The senior guard threw down six in the frame that sparked them to a 76-48 win over the Warriors inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium on Tuesday. No two-dollar pistol could have been any hotter.
He ended the first half with 23 points. The Longhorns outscored the Tribe 32-10 in the second quarter after the first one ended in a 9-9 tie.
“We shared the basketball and found the open man,” said Atwood. “Everything looks good when you knock down shots. We kept them off the board and that’s tough to do with their size. We needed a win and the boys went out there and got it. It was a good effort by everyone.”
Happy Valley surged out in front 7-1 thanks to a Brayden Sams trey and baskets from Bryce Carter and Jacob Surcey. Johnson County’s first field was a trey by Icenhour with 3:16 remaining in the quarter.
He added another trey and Lucas Phillips had a basket helping the Horns pull even at 9-9 after one.
What followed was a sea of 3-pointers by Icenhour after Nathan Arnold and Zack Eller had started the quarter with a deuce each to put Johnson County in front.
He proceeded to hit five in a row including two where he passed up a layup to shoot the long ball. His final one doubled the score at 34-17 with 1:50 remaining before halftime.
The Longhorns got a pair of baskets by Troy Arnold in the final minute and another by Atwood that gave them a commanding 41-19 halftime advantage.
“I was feeling it and they kept getting me that ball,” said Icenhour. “We had others scoring that took off some of the pressure. It was definitely a good victory for us.”
The Longhorns went for the jugular to start the third and pretty much found it during the first three minutes.
Icenhour would dial on in from long distance and Eller converted a three-point play the old fashioned way that stretches it 49-21.
Atwood converted another three-point play at the 5:20 mark that upped the ante at 55-21.
The Warriors got a three-ball by Will Tittle at the buzzer but they trailed 61-31 going into the fourth.
Eller swished a trey and Atwood provided another three-point play that allowed them to top the 70-point total mark early in the quarter.
The Longhorn reserves would take over from there.
Icenhour added five assists, four rebounds and steals in addition to his game high 30. Eller added 13 points and four steals. Atwood just missed double figures with nine points but did have a game high seven assists. Nathan Arnold provided nine rebounds and seven points.
Troy Arnold responded with a 10-point output after being inserted into the starting lineup.
The Longhorns shot a blazing 15-of-25 (60 %) from behind the 3-point line.
“I like our chances when we shoot the ball and rebound like we did,” added Atwood. “Losing Sean Lewis was a big blow to this team. We’re still trying to find our way without him and tonight was a big step. We played very well over the final three quarters.”
Sams led the Warriors with 15 points. Carter added a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Johnson County 76, Happy Valley 48

Sams 15, Carter 14, Whitaker 6, Surcey 4, Cochran 4, Tittle 3, Harmon 2

Icenhour 30, Eller 13, T. Arnold 10, Atwood 9, N. Arnold 7, Phillips 5, Bower 2, Reece 0

H.V. 9 10 15 13 — 48
J.C. 9 32 20 15 — 76

3-point goals—HV 4 (Sams 2, Tittle 1, Whittaker 1) JC 12 (Icenhour 9, Eller 2, N. Arnold 1)

Pictures are by Tammy. Story is attached. Use them all if  you would. We won.

Youth League Basketball results

C-Team Division
Doe 2 defeats Mtn City 4 (8-4)
Doe 2 (8)
Loryn Charland 2, Ian Lewis 2, Grayson Hensley 4
MC4 (4)
Clayton Furchess 4

Roan Creek 2 defeats Doe 1 (8-2)
Roan Creek (8)
Grayson Day 6, Grayson Espinoza 2
Doe 1 (2)
Garrett Ward 1, Kale Cox 1

Mtn. City 1 defeats Mtn. City 4 (15-4)
MC1 (15)
Hunter McElyea 8, Avery Blevins 5, Carson Dorman 2
MC4 (4)
Clayton Furchess 2, Matthew Johnson 2

Roan Creek 2 defeats Mtn. City 3 (13-10)
Roan Creek (13)
Grayson Day 10, Audrey Shaw 1, Grayson Esponoza 2
MC3 (10)
Sawyer Marshall 6, Bobby Sexton 2, Gavin Mahala 2

Laurel defeats Mtn. City 22-8
Laurel (22)
Cayden Huskins 6, Rayley Matheson 16;
Mtn. City 8
Madelyn 2, Caiden 6

Mtn. City 2 defeats Roan Creek 1 (14-13)
MC2 (14)
Gage 14
RC1 (13)
Brady Arney 2, Konner Stines 11

B-Team Division
Mtn. City 2 defeats Roan Creek 2 (21-17)
MC2 (21)
Kaden Blevins 2, Carson Jennings 6, Chris Thomas 2, Juan Mejia 7, Carter Atwood 4
RC2 (17)
Landon Lipford 8, Gunner Hutchins 5, Dalton Ward 2, Jack Csillag 2

Roan Creek 1 defeats Doe 23-18
RC1 (23)
Joe Joe Church 17, Josh Potter 2, Sammy Seivers 4
Doe (18)
Darren Chappell 2, Kyle Roberts 6, Oliver Pritchard 10

Mtn. City 2 defeats Mtn. City 1 (30-5)
MC2 (30)
Carson Jennnings 13, Chris Canter 3, Matthew Forrester 2, Juan Mejia 2, Carter Atwood 6, Andrew Long 4;
MC1 (5)
Brock Jones 1, Dylan Warren 2, Isaiah Santiago 2

Mtn. City 2 defeats Roan Creek 2 (24-7)
MC2 (24)
Kaden Blevins 8, Carson Jennings 8, Juan Mejia 2, Carter Atwood 2, Andrew Long 2
RC2 (7)
Landon Lipford 5, Gunner Hutchins 2

Mtn. City 1 defeats Mtn. City 3 (29-14)
MC1 (29)
Braxton Bragg 4, Brock Jones 1, Dylan Warren 20, Isaiah Santiago 4
MC3 (14)
Graham Long 2, Charlie Sluder 2, Hunter Paisley 2, Ethan Smith 8

Girls Division
Mtn. City defeats Roan Creek (18-14)
MC (18)
Sierra Green 12, Kaylee Roark 2, Samantha Reece 4
RC (14)
Harley Wykle 4, Sarah I 2, Emily 2, Ashlynn 2, Desirea 4

A-Team Division
Mtn. City 1 defeats Mtn. City 3 (34-16)
MC1 (34)
George Grill 7, Evan Dollar 2, Daniel Stout 6, Hayden Dugger 2, Jace Stout 4, Gaston Dugger 7, Noah Brown 2, Zach Lunceford 4
MC3 (16)
Conner Stout 8, Carter Rhudy 4, Ethan Reece 4

Sullivan Central Cougars tame cold-shooting Johnson County Horns 58-53

By Tim Chambers

BLOUNTVILLE, TN.—The arctic air and near zero temperatures mirrored Johnson County’s shooting percentage from the field on Friday night inside the Dickie Warren Dome. The Longhorns shot a frigid 27 percent against Sullivan Central and fell 58-53 in a Three Rivers Conference game for both squads.

The Longhorns played well in the first quarter and built a 16-12 advantage after one, but things went from good to bad in the second frame. Johnson County scored only two points and trailed 23-18 at the half.
“Overall as a team we didn’t show up tonight,” said Johnson County’s head coach Austin Atwood. “We didn’t shoot very well but it went far beyond that. You can’t take nights off and win in our league and that’s what we did tonight. Giving Central credit but it’s the worst game we’ve played this season. We definitely didn’t deserve to win.”
Things started off well for the Horns in the first quarter. Blake Atwood drained a long three followed by baskets from Jordan Edes-King and Troy Arnold that vaulted them in front 13-5.
They held a four-point advantage going into the second quarter but went ice cold from that point.
The Cougars (9-9, 3-1) got their offense going that started with an offensive rebound and putback by Chris Bradley. They continued to shooting well getting jumpers by Jordan Self and Matt Long sandwiched in between a three-point play by Ben Williams.

Johnson County trailed by five at the half after being outscored 16-2 in the quarter.
Their struggles continued in the third quarter as Central started off on a 6-2 run and went 31-22 at the 5:35 mark.
The Longhorns finally found their offense with Atwood tossing in six points while Edes-King and Nathan Arnold recorded four apiece.
They trailed 36-32 heading into the fourth period but would retake the lead just moments later.
Atwood’s 3-ball allowed them to move in front 27-36 but Central would answer with a basket from Jordan Self.
The Longhorns (10-6, 1-2) had too many turnovers and defensive breakdowns in the final four minutes to pull out an all important road win.
Kaden Duncan came off the bench to score six points on two-long range treys that broke the Longhorns’ back but they didn’t quit. They trailed 51-41 with 2:59 remaining but began to whittle away at the deficit.

Atwood’s long range shooting and some good free throw shooting by Edes-King got the Horns within a bucket late in the game, but another defensive let-down would finally bury them.
Grayson Wright caught a long inbounds pass and turned it into a three-point play that put the game out of reach for the Longhorns.

“I’m so disappointed and frustrated,” added Atwood. “We should have had somebody back defending on the breakout basket but that’s my fault. I’ll shoulder the blame for that.”
Atwood came to the defense of his team, but it was Central’s defense that forced them into several turnovers and forced shots.
Bud Icenhour was held to only two points after getting 30 in Tuesday’s win over Cloudland.
Atwood scored 22 points and had three steals and three assists to pace the Longhorns. Edes-King added 14 points and seven rebounds. Nathan Arnold contributed eight points, five rebounds and two steals. Eller provided seven rebounds which tied for team high honors.

Self topped the Cougars with 17 points while Williams and Harrison added 12 and 10 points respectively.
The Longhorns now must regroup for a four-game stretch that starts with Happy Valley and Sullivan East at home on Tuesday and Friday.

Sullivan Central 58,
Johnson County 53

Atwood 22, Edes-King 14, N. Arnold 8, Eller 3, Icenhour 2 T. Arnold 4, Reece 0.

Self 17, B. Williams 12, Harrison 10, Duncan 6, Long 5, Bradley 2, Wright 4.

Johnson Co. 16 2 14 21 — 53
Sul. Central 12 11 13 22 — 58
3-point goals—JC 5 (Atwood 4, Eller 1) SC 4 (Duncan 2, Williams 1, Self 1)

Sullivan Central Lady Cougars hold off Johnson County Horns 56-53

By Tim Chambers

BLOUNTVILLE, TN—The Lady Longhorns narrowed the gap immensely by taking a strong Sullivan Central team down to the wire on its home court. Unfortunately, they came up just a bit short in the end.
Johnson County provided fans with a gutsy comeback effort before falling 56-53 to the Lady Cougars inside of the Dickie Warren Dome on Friday.
The Longhorns fell behind 19-7 after one thanks to several long treys including two from Central’s Avery Lemming. They battled back to outscore the Cougars by nine over the final three quarters.
JCHS’ head coach Leon Tolley was proud of their efforts.
“They shot well in the first quarter but they were contested shots,” said Tolley about Central. “It was the shots that we wanted them to take but they just made them. We battled back and tied it up late in the game and had every opportunity in the world to win. Tonight’s performance was a night and day difference from the way we played at Cloudland. We had three girls inside; Taylor Parsons, Emmy Miller and Hazlee Kleine that played their hearts out and did a great job on their big post player. I felt like had there been another minute that we might have won the game. I am proud of their effort and the way they fought back.”
The slugfest began in the second quarter after Lemming had closed the first quarter with a pair of treys.
Crawford’s three-point play gave the Cougars a 27-15 advantage before the Horns punched back in order to steal back some momentum.
Taylor Parsons provided four points while Adrian Hall and Hazelee Kleine added buckets. They closed the frame on a 7-0 run and trailed 31-24 at the half.
“We played nervous and got knocked around before we finally responded,” added Tolley. “But we got back up and played hard. That was definitely good to see.”

They reduced the deficit by three in the third quarter getting seven points from Courtney Brooks and a three-ball by Hall. Baskets from Emmy Miller and Sadie Stout left them trailing 40-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
Crawford was a terror on the inside scoring 18 points before fouling out with 3:58 remaining with her team leading 50-46. The Longhorns had a couple of chances to even the score in the final minute but turned the ball over.
The Cougars (7-7, 3-1) got six free throws by Sams down the stretch that turned out to be the difference.
Lemming complimented Crawford’s effort with 15 points including four treys. Sanders contributed 11 and Sams just missed double figures, scoring nine.
Parsons led the Lady Longhorns with 14 points and eight rebounds along with Brooks who added 12 points. Stout collected eight points and three assists. Miller had a team high 12 rebounds and seven points. Hall contributed five points and a pair of steals.
Tolley was more upbeat than after Tuesday’s loss to Cloudland.
“When you play hard with a lot of effort you give yourself a chance to win. This is definitely something we can build on tonight.”
The Longhorns (2-10, 1-2) were set to play Happy Valley on Tuesday before hosting Sullivan East at home on Friday.

Sullivan Central 56, Johnson Co. 53

Parsons 14, C. Brooks 12, Stout 8, E. Miller 7, Hall 5, Cox 2, Kleine 2, Winters 0.

Crawford 18, Lemming 15, Sanders 11, Sams 9, Robinette 3, Hurd 0, McClellan 0.

Johnson Co. 7 17 13 16 — 53
Sul. Central 19 12 9 16 — 56
3-point goals—JC 4 (Hall 1, Stout 1, Parsons 1, Brooks 1) SC 6 (Lemming 4, Robinette 1, Sams 1).

JCMS team drops pair to Chuckey-Doak Knights

The news wasn’t good from Afton on Friday for the Johnson County Middle School basketball teams. The girls lost 43-34 to the Lady Black Knights while the boys were defeated by four in a close knit affair.
Savannah McKinney had 12 points to lead the Lady Longhorns. Macey Luckett added six points. Jacey Eshleman contributed three points, Sydni Potter had two points and Raven Tyron closed out the scoring with a free throw.

The boys were led by Corie Neely’s 13 points. Zack Parsons and Gavin Ward tallied eight points apiece. Preston Greer and Nate Rice each had four. John Stout closed out the scoring with three.
The Longhorns were to play at Hampton on Tuesday.
They will participate in the District Tournament which begins at Chuckey-Doak on Saturday.

Longhorns bombarded by Lady Landers 59-39

JC’s Courtney Brooks drives past Cloudland’s Megan Lunsford #24

By Tim Chambers

Cloudland delivered a major haymaker to Johnson County in the first quarter and hit them with the knockout punch in the third period.
The Lady Highlanders outscored them 37-14 in the two frames that led to their 59-39 victory inside of Sonny Smith Gymnasium.
The Highlanders came out hotter than a pistol in the first quarter. Megan Lunsford was 3-for-3 from behind the three-point line while Trinity Vines tossed in seven points including a trey. The duo sparked Cloudland to a 20-7 lead after one.
“They definitely showed us that we still have a whole lot to work on,” said Johnson County’s head coach Leon Tolley. “We didn’t come out ready nor did we play well defensively. Cloudland is a very good offensive team but we’re supposed to put up a little more resistance than we did. It was disappointing to watch.”
The Longhorns played even in the second quarter as both teams tallied 11 points each. Adrian Hall swished a pair of first-half treys while Taylor Cox added another one and five second-quarter points. Still the Horns trailed 31-18 at the half.
The third quarter was much like the first one for Johnson County. They were outscored by Cloudland 17-7 in the quarter and Taylor Parsons had five of those.
They outscored Cloudland 14-11 in the final frame but couldn’t duplicate the performance that they had against them at home.
The Lady Landers won a hard fought 48-46 contest back on November 21 inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
Vines finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists to pace Cloudland. Lunsford and Stacia Wilson added 11 points apiece.
Cox topped Johnson County with nine points. Parsons added eight points and a game high 10 rebounds. Courtney Brooks provided seven and Hall finished with six.

Cloudland 59, Johnson County 39

Johnson Co. (39)
Hall 6, Brooks 7, Parsons 8, Cornett 3, Cox 9, Stout 3, Miller 1, Peele 2.
Cloudland (59)
K. Birchfield 8, Wilson 11, J. Birchfield 8, Lunsford 11, Vines 15, Caraway 1, Gouge 5.
Johnson Co. 7 11 7 14 – 39
Cloudland 20 11 17 11 – 59
3-point goals: JC 3 (Cox 1, Hall 2), CL. 6 (Lunsford 3, Vines 2, K. Birchfield 1)

Nathan Arnold, Hayden Osborne selected to the 3A All-State team

By Tim Chambers

Two Longhorn football players were honored by the Tennessee Football Coaches Association by being selected to the Class 3A All-State football team. 
Quarterback Nathan Arnold and linebacker Hayden Osborne were among the elite after Johnson County’s record setting football season in 2017. Arnold completed 152-of-245 passes for 2112 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was Co-Player of the Year in the Mountain Six Conference. Osborne racked up 157 tackles in 12 games including 14 sacks and 13 for losses. He also blocked an extra point against Northview Academy in the first round of the playoffs to preserve their win. He was Defensive Player of the Year in the Mountain Six Conference. Arnold and Osborne were named to the Johnson City Press Elite 11 Squad and were offensive and defensive MVP’s on the Tomahawk’s All Johnson/Carter County football team.
Both players were excited about being selected.
“It’s a great feeling and I wouldn’t have accomplished it without my offensive line, receivers and running backs,” said Arnold. “I also want to thank my coaching staff for all the time and hard work they invested in me. Shane (Greer) played a big role in this because he’s been my go-to receiver for three seasons. Winning 11 games in a row was exciting because nobody had done it before. It’s a season that I never will forget.”
Arnold committed to play at the University of the Cumberland over the weekend and a formal announcement will be made later.

Osborne caught the eye of all the coaches in Northeast Tennessee with his toughness and gutsy play. He was stoked about being named to the team.
“This means a whole lot to me because I know that it means a whole lot to our school and community,” said Osborne. “I want to thank my coaches because they taught me so much. The guys around me deserve a lot of credit because they got me through a lot. We’re all like family. This award is about them too.”
Hayden wasn’t sure if he would pursue playing at the college ranks. He will have surgery on his knee later in the month.
“I played with an injury for most of the season so I’m going to get that taken care of,” added Osborne. “I don’t know if playing is in the cards but I sure would love to come back here and help coach one day if it isn’t. I want to stay involved in football up here.”
Perhaps head coach Don Kerley summed it up best when talking about Arnold after being selected as Co-Offense Player of the Year in the conference and Osborne who was MVP of the defense.
“You couldn’t ask for two better young men to have on your football team,” said Kerley. “Both were a big reason why we were able to go undefeated and each is a role model both on and off the field. They were deserving of this.”
The same can be said for being selected to the Coaches’ 3A All-State Team. Congratulations on a job well done.

JCHS Longhorns lasso Cloudland Highlanders 80-72

JC’s Blake Atwood goes high over Cloudland’s Dillion Johnson for a 3-point play.

By Tim Chambers

Trying to knock off Cloudland inside of Sonny Smith Gymnasium can be like trying to eat a 30-ounce T-bone steak in a 30-minute time frame. It’s nearly impossible but it makes news when it happens.
The Longhorns made news by knocking off the Highlanders 80-72 in overtime on a frigid Tuesday night in Roan Mountain.
Johnson County’s killer “B’s” Bud Icenhour and Blake Atwood stung Cloudland for a combined 51 points, eight assists and seven steals and yet they needed a gusty effort from Jordan Edes-King and Nathan Arnold to pull out the win.
Johnson County’s head coach Austin Atwood was pleased to leave Roan Mountain with a win.
“I don’t care how good of a team you are it’s nearly impossible to win up here,” said Atwood. “We feel very fortunate because they beat Unicoi County by 14 just a few weeks ago. I thought we defended them well in the second half and especially in the third quarter when we started to get back in it. I’m proud of our team for chipping away when we got down by 14. We had to grind out this win.”
Both teams put up a baker’s dozen in the first quarter. Atwood and Icenhour tallied six and five points respectively to keep the Horns in the hunt.
Cloudland came out in the second quarter bombing from long range to move in front by double digits.
Josh Blair scored 10 second quarter points including two treys. Jacob Perrigoy added a pair as the Highlanders led 34-27 at the break.
Johnson County was able to stay in the game behind three treys from Icenhour and four free throws by Nathan Arnold in the third quarter but still trailed 53-44 heading into the final frame.
That’s when the Longhorns sped up the tempo and finally were able to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
Zack Eller knocked down a deuce to get things started and Edes-King was dynamite on the inside scoring eight points on four field goals.
His baskets with 6:14 remaining cut the Landers lead down to 55-50; then Atwood rang up a three-point play that cut it to 58-57 at the 3:16 mark.
Johnson County (11-5) finally took the lead on a pair of Nathan Arnold free throws but Robert Leeper’s deuce erased that.
Edes-King kept the Horns in front 61-60 on a nice spin move, then got a beautiful feed from Arnold that resulted in a basket and a 63-60 lead with 55 seconds remaining.
Atwood’s free throws kept Johnson County’s three-point lead safe after another Leeper basket but the Highlanders wouldn’t go away.
Icenhour went to the line with Johnson County leading 65-64 but made only 1-of-2, leaving the door open for Cloudland. The Highlanders went for the win but Leeper missed from the corner. Blair grabbed the rebound and scored at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime.
Johnson County overpowered Cloudland in the final quarter by starting the extra period on a 7-0 run. Icenhour swished his sixth trey followed by an Atwood basket and assist to Nathan Arnold for a layup giving them a 73-66 advantage.
Icenhour converted a couple more baskets in the final minute helping Johnson County escape with the win.
The senior guard finished the night with a game high 30 points and three assists. Atwood added 21 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals. He was 10-10 from the foul line. Arnold contributed 13 points including 11-12 from the foul line. Edes-King provided 12 points and seven rebounds.
Blair led the Highlanders with 18 points. Leeper and Perrigoy contributed 14 and 12 points to the cause.
“Bud played a remarkable game and kept us in it,” added Atwood. “I thought Edes played a strong second half and Nathan Arnold played well on the inside. Blake had a pretty good game and we got some good minutes out of Zack Eller, Gavin Reece, Troy Arnold and Lucas Phillips.“

Johnson County 80, Cloudland 73 (OT)
Johnson Co. (80)
Icenhour 30, Atwood 21, N. Arnold 13, Edes-King 12, Eller 4, T. Arnold 0, Reece 0, Phillips 0.
Cloudland (72)
Blair 18, Leeper 14, Perrigoy 12, Johnson 8, Birchfield 4, Coffey 4, Hicks 4, Shell 5, Benfield 1, Bean 2.

Johnson Co. 13 14 17 22 14 — 80
Cloudland 13 21 19 13 6 — 72
3-point goals—JC 6 (Icenhour 6) CL 7 ( Blair 3, Perrigoy 2, Shell 1, Johnson 1)

Johnson County Youth League basketball game box scores

C-Team Division

Roan Creek 1 defeats Laurel 10-6
Roan Creek 1 (10)
Abby Dicksn 2, Konner Stines 6, Claira Porter 2
Laurel (6)
Cayden Huskins 4, Kayley Matheson 2

Mtn. City 2 defeats Doe 1 18-5
MC 2 (18)
Gage Grissom 16, Bentley Forrester 2
Doe1 (5)
Jonas Pritchard 2, Tyler Stout 3

Roan Creek 1 defeats Doe 2 15-1
Roan Creek 1 (16)
Abby Dickens 4, Konner Stines 11
Roan Creek 1 (1)
Lyn Charland 1

Mtn. City 3 defeats Doe 2 23-4
MC 3 (23)
Sawyer Marshall. 9, Bobby Sexton 8, Gavin Mahala 4, Tanner Leonard 2
Doe 2 (4)
Grayson Hensley 2, Jonah 2

Roan Creek 2 defeats Mtn. City 2 9-2
MC 2 (9)
Karter Cox 2, Grayson Day 1, Grayson Espinoza 6
Roan Creek (2)
Gauge Grissom 2

B-Team Division

Roan Creek defeats Mtn. City 3 30-8
Roan Creek (30)
Landon Lipford 14, Jack C 16
MC3 (8)
Hunter Paisley 4, Ethan Smith 4

Roan Creek 2 defeated Doe 2 25-15
RC2 (25)
Landon Lipford 14, Gunner Hutchins 7, Jack 2, Dalton 2
Doe 2 (15)
Darren Chappell 6, Oliver Pritcher 9

Mtn. City 2 defeats Roan Creek1 24-17
MC2 (24)
Kaden Blevins 5, Carson Jennings 8, Juan Mejia 2, Carter Atwood 5, Andrew Long 4
RC1 (17)
Joe Joe Church 13, Sammy Seivers 2, Josh Potter 2

Roan Creek 2 defeats Doe 1 24-8
RC2 (24)
Landin Lipford 16, Gunner Hutchins 4, Landon Greene 2, Jack C 2
Doe 1 (8)
Aaron Fergusan 3, Kendon Keith 2, Jayden Bishop 2, Gavin Curd 1

Roan Creek 1 defeats Doe 1 14-8
RC1 (14)
Joe Joe Church 4, Josh Potter 4, Sammy Seivers 4, Harris Perry 2
Doe 1 (8)
Eli Tester 2, Aaron Ferguson 2, Jayden Bishop 4;

Mtn. City 2 defeats Mtn. City 1 19-12
MC2 (19)
Kaden Blevins 4, Carson Jennings 7, Juan Mejia 6, Carter Atwood 2
MC 1 (12)
Dylan Warren 12

Roan Creek 1 defeats Mtn. City 3 18-16
RC1 (18)
Graham Long 2, Dylan Reece 2, Hunter Paisley 8, Ethan Smith 6
MC3 (16)
Joe Joe Church 8, Josh Potter 4, Sammy Seivers 2, Harris Perry 2

A – Team Division

Roan Creek 1 defeats Roan Creek 2 34-12
RC1 (34)
Connor Simcox 10, Dalton Pope 11, Eli Dickens 8, James Potter 5
RC2 (12)
Jackson Baker 4, Isaiah Fenner 2, Isaiah Meade 2, Noah Eastridge 2, Tyler Seatz 2

Roan Creek 2 defeats Mtn. City 3 22-19
RC2 (22)
Jackson Baker 12, Isaiah Fenner 2, Samuel Greer 2, Noah Eastridge 4, Eli Anderson 2
MC3 (19)
Carter Rhudy 8, Ethan Reece 5, Dalton Hicks 4, Timmy Widnener 2

Mtn. City 1 defeats Roan Creek 2 36-12
MC 1 (36)
George Grill 4, Evan Dollar 8, Samuel Lavey 5, Daniel Stout 2, Jace Stout 2, Zach Lunceford 9, Noah Brown 6
RC 2 (12)
Isaiah Fenner 2, Samuel Greer 2, Noah Eastridge 2, Tyler Seatz 6
Roan Creek 1 defeats Mtn. City 2 46-16
RC1 (46)
Connor Simcox 16, Dalton Pope 25, Eli Dickens 2, James Potter 3
MC2 (16)
Derek Baird 4,. Ethan Ward 2, Kevin Horner 2, Tanner Bulliner 2, Brady Fritts 2, Peyton Woodard 2, Cameron Crowder 2

Mtn. City 1 defeats Doe 1 29-3
MC1 (29)
George Grill 7, Samuel Lavey 2, Daniel Stout 4, Hayden Dugger 2, Jace Stout 6, Gaston Dugger 4, Zach Lunceford 2, Noah Brown 2
Doe 1 (3)
Josiah McEwen 1, Chris Reece 2

Roan Creek 1 defeats Mtn. City 3 32-16
RC1 (32)
Connor Simcox 12, Dalton Pope 14, James Potter 6
MC3 (16)
Connor Stout 8, Carter Rhudy 4, Ethan Reece 2, Nate Dorman 2

Girls Division

Mtn. City 2 defeats Laurel 24-8
MC2 (24)
Sierra 12, Alyssa 2, Kylah 2, Kaylee 4, Samantha 2, Mimi 2
Laurel (8)
Trista D 2, Aden Thomas 4, Kailahai Webster 2

Mtn. City 1 defeats Roan Creek 22-7
MC1 (22)
Braden 2, Shawna 4, Mattie 14, Izzy 2
RC (7)
Sarah Icenhour 3, Harley Wykle 2, Ashlynn Beam 2

Roan Creek defeats Laurel 18-8
RC (18)
Sarah Icenhour 6, Emma Eller 6, Ashlynn Beam 2, Mia Flores 2, Harley Wykle 2
Laurel (8)
Kailahni Webster 4, Aden Thomas 4

Mtn. City 1 defeats Laurel 39-14
MC1 (39)
Braden 14, Lexie 5, Shawna 2, Mattie 16, Sarah 2
Laurel (14)
Kailahni Webster 4, Shayden Keith 2, Allison Sutherland 2.

Longhorns lose Lewis to torn ACL

JCHS Sean Lewis #34 suffered a season ending injury at Hampton.

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County got the news it feared most on Wednesday concerning Sean Lewis. The senior standout suffered a torn ACL and will be lost for the season according to head coach Austin Atwood.
Lewis was injured early in their game at Hampton going for a loose ball near the Longhorns’ bench.
Lewis was a three year starter for the Longhorns and had played his best basketball recently.
He has scored 124 points over the past eight games averaging 15.5 points per game, six rebounds and three assists. He was also one of the most athletic players in the conference.
Atwood was crushed over the injury.
“Sean had worked so hard in the off season to become a complete player,” said Atwood. “I feel like he is one of the better players in the conference. He’s been one of our leading scorers and rebounders. It’s going to be hard to replace him. I really hate it for Sean because this is his senior year. You couldn’t ask for a better young man to coach. We’ve got some big shoes to fill because he did so much for our team.”
Atwood will look to juniors Zack Eller, Gavin Reece and sophomore Lucas Phillips to try and fill the void.
“We’re hoping that all three of them step in and play well,” said Atwood. “Each of them is capable.”
Lewis is one of three star players that have went down with injuries in the conference.
Unicoi County lost their best post player, Clay Simpson (6’6, Sr.) to a season ending injury. Elizabethton’s 6’5 post player Carter Everett tore his ACL and will not be able to compete as well.
The Longhorns have a tough stretch of conference games over the next two weeks. They’ll travel to Sullivan Central on Friday to play the Cougars.
The team returns home on the following week to play Happy Valley on Tuesday, January 9 and Sullivan East on Friday, January 12.
Unicoi County is 3-0 in league play and Sullivan East is 2-0. Central is 2-1 and stands alone in third place.
Johnson County is currently 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference. They are holding firm to the fourth spot but could move up considerably if they can win their next three games.

Split seventh grade squads compete in Hampton tourney

Dalton Robinson #23 swishes a basket for JCMS 1.

By Tim Chambers

The seventh grade Longhorns split their team into two squads and took part in the after-Christmas tournament played at Hampton Elementary School last week.
Both teams came away with a victory as the #1 squad won on the second day of the tournament while the #2 squad claimed victory in their third and final game. Both wins came over Jonesborough.

Grandview (29)
Johnson Co. #1 (24)
The Longhorns appeared to have this game in the bag, leading the game almost the entire way.
Four points by Christopher Lipford and a three-ball from Peyton Pavusek propelled the Horns to an 8-6 advantage after one.
They continued to play well in the second quarter. Nick Speed had a basket that put them up 13-10, then Graham Reece closed the half with a pair of free throws.
The Longhorns led 15-10 at the half.
Grandview kept chipping away at the lead and matched their total first-half point production in the first half at 11. They took the lead 22-19 late in the third but a three-point play from Speed tied the game at 22 all heading into the final frame.
Things started well for the Horns in the final quarter when Speed scored in the paint to put them up 24-22. But Grandview scored the final seven points in the game that allowed them to come away with a victory.
Speed led the Longhorns with nine points and 10 rebounds. Lipford, Reece and Skylar Lawson added three points each. Pavusek tallied four points and Lipford scored the other two.
Hayden Wesley had a game high 11 points for Grandview. Aiden Clark added seven points and Chase Schroeck and Ronnie Bingham tallied for apiece.

Cloudland (30)
Johnson Co.#1 (17)
The Longhorns jumped on top 6-0 only to see Cloudland score the final bucket of the quarter to gain the momentum. The Highlanders proceeded to score 13 straight points and led 13-8 at the half.
Cloudland extended their lead to 10 to start the third quarter behind two quick baskets by Dillon Shell. A three-ball by Levi Lunsford and a deuce from Caden Clarke doubled the score on the Longhorns 24-12 heading into the final quarter.
Chris Lipford and Nick Speed scored five straight points to start the fourth quarter that cut the lead to seven, but the Horns were held scoreless for the final four minutes enabling the Highlanders to win by a baker’s dozen.
Lipford and Speed lead the Longhorns with seven and six points, respectively.
Shell scored a game high 12 points for the Highlanders. Clarke added 11 points in the Highlanders’ win.

Johnson Co. #1 (42)
Jonesborough (39)
Johnson County #1 was able to come away with a close 42-39 win over Jonesborough to finish 1-2 in the tournament.
Chris Lipford had a game high 18 points to lead Johnson County. Nick Speed added 12 points. Graham Reece, Dalton Robinson and Skylar Lawson each had four points to close out Johnson County’s scoring.
Justin Madden, Travis Saults and Lars Marshall scored nine points each for Jonesborough.

Johnson County #2 (36)
Jonesborough (25)
The second team had quite an impressive showing on the final day, beating Jonesborough by 11 after two previous losses.
The Longhorns lead 10-6 after one getting two baskets each from Dominic Kelly and Brayden Humphrey and a solo bucket from Chris Grill.
Kelly scored all five points in the second quarter that kept them in from 15-10 at halftime.
The Longhorns finally pushed their advantage to double digits in the third quarter with the help of five points by Kelly and four more from Dalton Osborne.
The Longhorns were able to maintain their double-digit cushion in the fourth quarter thanks to the play of Isaiah Curd. He scored all six of his points during the final frame and Kelly added five more in the frame just as he had in the second and third quarters.
Tanner Marshall salted the game away with a free throw that gave the Horns a nice victory.
Kelly blistered the nets for 17 points to lead the Longhorns. Osborne and Curd provided six apiece. Grill and Marshall closed their scoring by finishing with two points each.
Justin Madden scored 14 points to lead the Tigers.

Cloudland (29)
Johnson Co. #2 (19)
The Longhorns put up a good fight before falling by 10 to the Highlanders.
Dominic Kelly led the Longhorns with 10 points. Chris Grill added five points to the cause.
Shell had six points for Cloudland. All eight Highlanders scored in the game.

Tim’s Tomahawk Talk – 2017 was a good year with some profoundly sad moments

By Tim Chambers

The year 2017 was definitely one that Longhorn fans will remember for a long time. The year was filled with many historic events, including a school record for most wins in a season by the football team.
It was also a year that broke the hearts of many Longhorns fans due to deaths. I lost two wonderful friends with the passing of Gary Woodard and Steve Marshall. Both men gave their heart and soul to our youth leagues here in Johnson County. It would only be fitting to name something in their honor for the valuable volunteer work they did.
Longhorn fans will certainly remember the passing of Jeremy Dunn, said to be one of the best athletes to ever play at Johnson County. We continue to remember the families of these three men in our prayers.

Top Story
The top story for 2017 is the historic football season by the Johnson County Longhorns. The Horns finished the regular season at 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press Class 3A football poll.
Johnson County entered the poll ranked No. 8 in its first week and climbed the ladder five spots over the course of 10 games.
Nathan Arnold set the school’s all time passing yards record. Shane Greer went over 1000 yards receiving and Hayden Osborne put up some dazzling numbers on defense that would be hard to duplicate including 159 tackles.

Second to None
Johnson County’s 6-5 softball win over Elizabethton was historic but how it happened gathers the runner-up slot. The Lady Cyclones came in on a high until a freshman phenomena burst their bubble.
Hannah Brooks tormented them that day at the plate and on the mound. She pitched a complete game victory but her bat was what stood out.
Brooks finished the game going 3-3 with two home runs, a double and a whopping six RBI’s. She drove in four with a grand slam and two more with a two-run shot.
It was one of the best individual performances that I’ve seen in my 20 years of watching high school softball.
The game was also broadcast on WMCT with Tom Reece calling the game.

The death of two legends
It would be hard to find two icon figures like the late Harold Arnold and Ralph Stout. Arnold was a standout basketball and football coach for the Longhorns and a role model to everyone who knew him.
Stout was a longtime official for high school and college athletics and could be seen officiating basketball numerous times on television. He called SEC games and was also commissioner over the OVC officials.
He lived in Mountain City almost his entire life and served his town as mayor. His contributions to Johnson County will never be forgotten.

Johnson County 21, Northview Academy 20
How could one ever forget Johnson County’s first round dramatic football victory? Haden Osborne blocked an extra point in the final seconds allowing the Longhorns to escape with a 1-point victory.
Gage Hampton scored two touchdowns and ran for 175 yards. Nathan Arnold threw for 185 yards including a touchdown pass to Bud Icenhour. Shane Greer had six receptions for 100 yards.
It’s the first time ever that a football team captured 11 wins in a season. You will likely see a painted football on the hillside next season inscribed “2017.”

Pete Pavusek tops the 300 total wins mark
It would be hard to find a high school baseball coach with 300 wins in this area. Johnson County’s baseball coach Pete Pavusek did that plus 10 during the 2017 season.
Pavusek added icing on the cake by beating Elizabethton 9-2 to earn his 309th win. Pavusek has been at the helm for 22 seasons.
He accomplished this despite playing in frigid temperatures and weather conditions that sometimes limit practice time up here that other teams get in the lower elevations. I tip my cap to Pavusek.

Michala Cretsinger and Bud Icenhour surpass 1000 points
The 1000 career point total is a milestone that many players try and reach but only a few select succeed.
The most recent was Bud Icenhour who topped the mark during the Hall of Fame games to start the season.
Michala Cretsinger joined the club by scoring 15 first half points against Sullivan South in March.
Both were awarded basketballs for their accomplishments by athletic director Austin Atwood.Johnson County 55, Elizabethton 54 (girls)
It was only two seasons ago that Johnson County was humiliated 98-26 by the Lady Cyclones inside of Treadway Gymnasium. Two years later the tides turned.
Johnson County’s 55-54 win came under the direction of first year head coach Leon Tolley. And they did it by starting two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior. Three other sophomores made key contributions off the bench.
It was not their first win ever over Elizabethton but they hadn’t beaten the Lady Cyclones in over two decades.

Scholarship signings
Three Longhorns were awarded scholarships for their outstanding performances over their careers.
Nick Whitner signed to play baseball at Milligan College. Isaiah Penley logged scholarship papers with Alice Lloyd to play golf. Anthony Woodard cast his lot with Emory & Henry to play football.

Longhorns hire Leon Tolley as girls head basketball coach
Tolley’s hiring was a shot in the arm for the Lady Longhorns’ basketball program. He led Hampton twice to the state tournament, finishing runner-up on his second trip.
He will try and rebuild a program that hasn’t been to the regional tournament in nearly two decades.

Last but not least (middle school softball and football)
It was hard to select the final spot so I’ll give a big shout out to both.
Coach Greg Reece gets a pat on the back for his Lady Longhorns winning the middle school tournament softball championship. Coach Devin Shaw also deserves credit for coaching the middle school football team to a league championship and first round playoff win over Rogersville. The team finished the season 7-1, with their only loss coming in the sectional championship game to Church Hill 24-20.
Longhorn fans will definitely remember 2017 for years to come.

Longhorns await word on Lewis injury

By Tim Chambers

The Johnson County boys are riding a two-game winning streak after knocking off Hampton and West Wilkesboro in back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday. But the win on Friday could prove costly.
Three-year starter Sean Lewis injured his knee in the first quarter at Hampton and did not return. He had an MRI on Friday but the results won’t be known until Wednesday.
Lewis had put up some massive scoring numbers in four of his past five games. It’s a huge blow for head coach Austin Atwood.
“It gave me a sick feeling over the Christmas holiday because I hurt for him,” said Atwood. “He was playing his best basketball ever over the past five or six games. He is definitely one of the most athletic players in our conference and his leadership is so valuable to our team. It’s a wait and see thing but we’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.”
The Longhorns will travel to Cloudland on Tuesday to battle the Highlanders inside of Sonny Smith Gymnasium. The Highlanders defeated Unicoi County 77-63 there on December 19 and will be looking for payback from their 80-55 loss to the Longhorns back in late November.
The Longhorns will kick off conference play on Friday, January 5 at Sullivan Central.

JCMS rally past Bridgeport 60-56

JCMS Preston Greer #1 drives for a basket against T.A. Dugger

By Tim Chambers

JONESBOROUGH—Johnson County finished the Tigers Christmas tournament 2-2 including a two overtime win over Bridgeport on Thursday. They earned a dramatic 60-56 win but lost to T. A. Dugger in the 6th place game on Saturday 55-40.

Bridgeport 56
The junior high Longhorns outscored Bridgeport 20-11 in the final quarter to overcome a 9-point deficit and send the game into overtime.
Zack Parsons stepped up big in the final period scoring eight points. He also tallied five in the overtime periods.
His baskets and a pair of three’s by Preston Greer would factor heavily toward sending the game into overtime. Parsons’ free throws and Gavin Ward’s basket were just what was needed in the final overtime period that allowed Johnson County to escape with a victory.

Corie Neely had a huge game with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Parsons added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Greer chipped in with 14 points. Ward finished with four points while Nate Rice and John Stout provided two apiece.
Seth Ramsey led Bridgeport with 15 points. Hunter Shelton added 13 points and Matthew Boles 12, giving them three players in double figures.

T.A. Dugger 55
Johnson County 40
T.A. Dugger rode the outstanding play of Bryson Rollins to a big win over Johnson County on Saturday at Jonesborough Middle School.
Rollins finished with a game high 19 points and 11 rebounds. He recorded a couple of three-point plays in the first quarter that gave the Cyclones an 8-0 advantage.
Johnson County got within five in the second quarter but Donta Earnest scored at the buzzer to put TAD back up 20-13 at the half.
The Cyclones put the game away during the third quarter by outscoring Johnson County 21-7.
The Longhorns played hard in the final stanza but could never get the deficit back under double digits.
Corie Neely led the Longhorns with 14 points. Preston Greer finished with nine points while Hunter Wilson added six. Nate Rice (5 points), Zack Parsons (3 points) and two points by John Stout closed out the Longhorns’ scoring.
Cade Wilson had a big game scoring 10 points in addition to his six rebounds and three steals. Neely and Parsons had eight rebounds each for the Longhorns.

Longhorns split with West Wilkes in Friday night games

JC’s Blake Atwood #11 soars for a basket against West Wilkes

By Tim Chambers

Only two varsity games were played on Friday with the boys earning a win while the girls suffered a tough loss. The Lady Longhorns led for a good portion of the game but fell in the end 47-39 to West Wilkesboro. The boys survived a 32-point fourth quarter by the visitors to win 68-61 inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.

Johnson County 68
West Wilkesboro 61
Johnson County’s play in the first half against West Wilkesboro was good enough to earn them a victory. The Longhorns used a pair of treys by Bud Icenhour and one each by Lucas Phillips and Zack Eller to go up 18-13 after one.
The Longhorns turned up the defense in the second quarter and held Wilkesboro to only a single point. Phillips delivered his second trey and Blake Atwood added five points, allowing the Horns to build a 29-14 halftime advantage.

Edes-King the difference maker
The Horns got some excellent inside play from Jordan Edes-King in the second half who tallied 16 of his game high 23 points in the final quarter.
Atwood scored nine points in the third quarter including 7-for-7 from the foul line. His output in addition to a trey each by Icenhour and Phillips gave the Horns a commanding 46-29 lead heading into the final quarter.
What appeared like an easy win suddenly got interesting in the final quarter. Jacob Brown cut loose for 16 points as West Wilkes outscored the Horns 32-22 to get back within single digits.
Johnson County closed the deal by hitting 12-of-18 from the foul line during the final six minutes to pull out a victory. Edes-King cashed in on half of those, hitting 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. He and Zack Eller grabbed five rebounds apiece for the Longhorns. Atwood finished the game with 14 points and six assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Icenhour recorded 11 points while Phillips just missed double figures with nine.
Brown and Alex Ortiz scored 20 and 15 points respectively for Wilkes.

Coach Atwood’s comments
“It’s a win,” said Longhorns’ head coach Austin Atwood about his team’s performance. “We’re back to searching for the right combinations with Sean Lewis out. I thought we had some good moments in the game, but we’ve got a whole lot of things to work on. Blake didn’t have one of his better games, but Phillips came off the bench and played well in the first half. We needed a spark and he gave it to us.”

West Wilkes 47
Johnson 39
It was a frustrating loss for the Lady Longhorns who built a nice lead early in the game.
A pair of treys by Adrian Hall and four points by Taylor Parsons sparked the Horns to a 14-8 advantage after one. West Wilkes turned the tide in the second quarter and outscored them by the same total.
The game was deadlocked 22-22 at the half.
The third quarter was much like the second one for Johnson County. Sadie Stout swished a three-ball in the quarter just like Taylor Cox did in the second period, but the rest of the team could muster only four points.
The Lady Horns trailed 33-29 heading in the final quarter and were outscored 20-14 in that frame.

Game leaders
Hall led the Longhorns with 10 points and eight rebounds. Parsons added nine points and nine rebounds. Sadie Stout contributed seven points while Courtney Brooks tallied six points and a game high five assists.
Kelsie Huffman had 12 points for the Hawks. Jamilyn Wilcox and Cheyenne Cleach added 11 and 10 points giving them three players in double figures.

Comments from Coach Tolley
JCHS’ head coach Leon Tolley was very disappointed in his team’s overall play.
“I thought we took a step back tonight,” said Tolley. “It doesn’t take any talent to play hard or want to compete, and tonight we didn’t have anyone that wanted to do either. It was very frustrating to watch.”
Johnson County 68, West Wilkes 61

Johnson County (68)
Edes-King 23, Atwood 14, Icenhour 11, Phillips 9, N. Arnold 7, Eller 4, T. Arnold 0, Reece 0.

West Wilkesboro (61)
Brown 20, Ortiz 15, Bumgarner 4, James 2, Ford 9, Holder 3, Stintson 8

West Wilkes 13 1 15 32 — 61
Johnson Co. 8 11 17 22 — 68
3-point goals—JC 8 (Icenhour 3, Phillips 3, Atwood 1, Eller 1) WW 5 (Brown 3, Ortiz 1, Holder 1)

West Wilkesboro 47, Johnson Co. 39

West Wilkes (47)
Huffman 12, Wilcox 11, Cleach 10, Bell 2, Mason 3, Proffitt 5, Adams 4

Johnson Co. (39)
Hall 10, Parsons 9, Stout 7, C. Brooks 6, Cox 5, Winters 2, Cornett 0, B. Brooks 0

West Wilkes 8 14 11 14 — 47
Johnson Co. 14 8 7 10 — 39
3-point goals—WW 1 (Huffman 1) JC 5 (Hall 3, Cox 1, Stout 1)

JC’s Abby Cornett #25 drives in for a layup against West Wilkes