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
HAPPY VALLEY (48)
Sams 15, Carter 14, Whitaker 6, Surcey 4, Cochran 4, Tittle 3, Harmon 2
JOHNSON CO. (76)
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.