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.