Horns top South, Lady Longhorns fall
By Tim Chambers
On a night where dad earned his 300th career, son Blake was a major factor in why he did so. Blake Atwood blistered the nets for 32 points helping Johnson County
defeat Sullivan South
64-52 before a packed house inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
Johnson County 64
Sullivan South 52
It was tough sledding for the Horns in the first two quarters as South led 16-10 after one and 31-30 at the half. That would not be the case over the final two quarters.
Atwood began the third quarter by knocking down a long three than added a three-point play that put the Horns in front for good.
“They got ten offensive boards in the first half, and that killed us,” said Atwood. “They did a great job running their dribble-drive offense, and they are well coached. We made some adjustments at the half and started blocking out and limiting them to one shot. We knew if we could do that then we could get back in the game. You have to be careful with a team like South because they can score 10-12 points in a hurry.”
The younger Atwood scored 11 points in the third quarter which was three more than South’s total output. His dunk and 3-ball allowed the Horns to pull in front 44-39 going into the final period.
The Horns continued to pour it on, their lead never got under double digits after
Atwood ended the night with 32 points and six rebounds. Phillips added 16 points along with Gavin Reece who tallied seven points and four assists.
Coach Atwood liked the fact that his 300th win came with this group.
“We were up six when Blake picked up his fourth foul and had to sit, and these kids stretched the lead to 13. That’s the type of kids we have. Getting to share this with Blake and these kids is very special. We’ve not done anything yet, but it’s been one of my favorite teams that I’ve ever coached. They all get along great, and there is no selfishness. All the kids know their role. The all are a joy to coach.”
Sullivan South 51
Johnson County 40
The Lady Longhorns scored the first basket of the game and led 10-8 on a jumper by Sadie Stout, but it was all downhill after that.
Alexis Harris and Mollie Leslie hit late treys including one at the buzzer to give
South a 16-10 advantage.
They went into the locker
room with a 29-18 lead at the half.
The Longhorns played dead even with the Rebels in the second half but could gain no ground. They got it down to eight on two occasions thanks to baskets by Cox and Taylor Parsons but couldn’t get any closer.
Cox scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Horns while Parsons added 14 points and six rebounds.
Head coach Leon Tolley pointed to a couple of places where he felt like the game got away.
“The end of the first quarter and late in the second quarter was the difference,” said Tolley. “I’ve run out of excuses for them. We knew what they were going to do and we let them do it. Tonight we were our own worst enemy. We never got matched up all night, and our rotations were bad. We changed defenses four or five times and didn’t matter what we did. The bottom line is they beat our butts.”