By Tim Chambers
The fat lady had already sung, closed her songbook and went home by halftime of Johnson County’s game with Unaka. The boys scored early and often in their impressive 80-35 win over the Rangers inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Head coach Austin Atwood was pleased with the way his team sprang out of the gate. He said it’s something they have done well lately.
“We shot the ball well in the first half and got the big lead,” said Atwood. “I felt like we carried that over into the third quarter. Everybody got into the game and that’s always a good thing. Unaka’s trying to rebuild and they’ll get that done. Coach Aaron Dugger does a great job with them. I thought they played hard the whole way.”
Things didn’t go well for Unaka from the outset. Two baskets by Bud Icenhour and Sean Lewis’ three-point play helped the Horns take a 7-0 advantage in the first two minutes of the game.
Lewis fired in nine points and Blake Atwood tallied a half dozen, helping Johnson County build a 22-10 advantage after one.
The Longhorns would continue to double the score in the second frame. They outscored the Rangers 24-11 and were comfortably in front 46-21 at the half.
Lewis had 15 points by intermission and Atwood provided 11 more. The Longhorns also got a lift from Zack Eller who scored five points in the frame.
The halftime lead grew to 25 after Jordan Edes-King converted two deuces in the paint and Nathan Arnold drilled a three-ball.
The Rangers had no answer for Johnson County’s offense which dominated play in the third quarter.
The Longhorns got some strong play from Lucas Phillips and Gavin Reece during the third quarter that enabled them to extend their lead.
Phillips provided a pair of treys and Reece tallied five points including a trey.
Their lead was a whopping 66-27 going into the fourth quarter. The continuous clock rule was put in place during the final eight minutes of the game.
Lewis led the way with 17 points and Atwood added 16 in two quarters of work. Icenhour finished with nine, Phillips provided eight and Reece seven. A dozen Longhorns got in the scoring column.
Hill was the only Ranger in double figures with 15.
It was the fifth straight win for the Longhorns who are now 5-0 on the season.
Johnson County 80, Unaka 35
Hill 15, Ramsey 6, Johnson 3, King 2, Sexton 1, Wright 2, Drew 2, Burke 2, Ensor 2.
JOHNSON CO. (80)
Lewis 17, Atwood 16, Icenhour 9, Edes-King 5, N. Arnold 3, Phillips 8, Reece 7, Eller 4, T. Arnold 3, Rash 3, Isaacs 3, Bower 2.
Unaka 10 11 6 8 — 35
Jo nson Co. 22 24 20 14 — 80
3-point goals—Unaka 4 (Ramsey 2, Hill, Johnson). JC 7 (Phillips 2, Icenhour, Atwood, N. Arnold, Isaacs, Reece)