By Tim Chambers
JONESBOROUGH—Effort, hustle and determination willed Johnson County to a big road win on Friday at David Crockett. The Lady Longhorns started the Leon Tolley era with a stunning 52-46 win.
They took the floor sporting new uniforms and a whole new coaching staff. They didn’t shoot well and got into foul trouble but their effort on defense was unlike in past years.
They played hard from start to finish and the staff coached their butts off and kept them in the game. Tolley was appreciative of their effort.
“The main thing we want to do is compete – win or lose,” said Tolley. “We told them that Crockett would come out and try to be more physical, push us around and we let them do that. We finally decided to take our part and push back. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy, but that’s what we’re trying to correct. It’s good to see them get rewarded tonight because sometimes they get nervous and don’t show that.”
His assessment showed during the first half.
They trailed 15-6 after the first quarter but outscored Crockett 16-2 in the second.
Abby Cornett started the comeback surge by converting a three-point play. Three consecutive baskets by Taylor Parsons, Courtney Brooks and Sadie Stout capped off a 9-0 run that put them in front 18-17. Parsons and Cornett closed the half with free throws allowing Johnson County to take a 22-17 halftime advantage.
Parson opened the third quarter with a basket that put the Horns up 24-17 but picked up her fourth foul on their next trip down the floor and had to sit down.
The Lady Pioneers outscored them 19-9 in the frame and led 36-31 after three. This triggered another comeback surge by the Horns.
Brittney Brooks came off the bench to score four quick points and Cornett added another one that ended over an eight-minute scoring drought.
Johnson County got a huge three-point basket by Adrian Hall and a drive down the middle from Courtney Brooks that finally got them even midway through the quarter.
Hall then fed Parsons with a nice pass that resulted in a three-point play and a 43-40 advantage with 3:16 remaining.
Parsons would add two more baskets and Cornett another that upped the ante at five. Clutch free throws by Courtney Brooks in the final minute allowed the Horns to escape with the win.
Parsons ended the night with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Courtney Brooks added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Cornett provided nine points and three steals. Freshman Sadie Stout tallied seven points and eight rebounds in her first varsity game. Hall had eight rebounds and three assists.
The Lady Longhorns held a 40-31 rebounding edge.
Emma Gouge scored a game high 21 points for Crockett.
Tolley said it was important that they found a way to win.
“Coach (Gary) Smith, Kechia (Eller) and I talked to them about our expectations and they had to live up to ours. They finally figured that out. We’re not going to quit until the final horn goes off. That’s what we did out here tonight.”
Johnson County 52
David Crockett 46
DAVID CROCKETT (46)
Gouge 21, Lowe 9, Day 5, Robinson 4, Baldwin 3, Stenmotz 4.
JOHNSON COUNTY (52)
Parsons 14, C. Brooks 11, Cornett 9, Stout 7, Hall 3, Cox 2, B. Brooks 4, Peele 2, Nichols 0.
David Crockett 15 2 19 10 — 46
Johnson Co 6 16 9 17 — 52
3-point goals—DC 1 (Lowe) JC 1 (Hall)