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Basketball camp gives experience

It was the varsity team’s turn last week when Johnson County’s boys basketball program took part in the annual team camp hosted by the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTC). Making the long drive and spending two nights away from home, the Longhorns played in eight games total against some of the biggest and best talent in all of East Tennessee. Although the majority ended in losses, most were very strong match ups and Johnson County even managed a monumental win over Clinton High School from Anderson County.
While an overall record of one and seven may not seem all that impressive, the perspective may be skewed by the fact that many of the team’s key offensive players including Chase Phillips and J.R. Speed were out due to injuries. “It was all the bigger schools but we did ok,” said Coach Austin Atwood.  “We ended up being just one and seven but I didn’t play Chase or J.R. We didn’t have our two leading guys, but it was still really good for our young kids. Cody Bailie played pretty good. We took two freshmen over there, Nathan Arnold and Bud Icenhour and both of them played pretty well. We lost 90 percent of our scoring with Chase out. 90 percent wasn’t even at the camp, but they should be good for this week.”
Playing a busy summer schedule. the team heads out Thursday for Virginia Tech, where they will be through most of the weekend. In between the Longhorns will take part in a smaller camp in Gate City, and as Coach Atwood pointed out it’s all about building experience. “That’s what you expect out of the summer,” Atwood began. “You aren’t really worried about wins and losses. We’re more worried about getting our guys better, getting us some good experience, and that’s what we did. It gave me a chance to look at all our young players. When we go to Virginia Tech I’ll get to see what they look like with our main guys. We had trouble scoring a little bit but it will come with time.”

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