JC’s Clayton Cross (24) drives by a Blue Devil defender in Friday night’s 67-59 loss to Unicoi County. Photo by Joey Icenhour
Blue Devils 67, Longhorns 59
By Tim Chambers
The bad luck continued for Johnson County’s boys on Friday as Unicoi County came to Ray Shoun Gymnasium and escaped with a 67-59 win over the Longhorns.It’s been a frustrating three weeks for the Horns, who have lost eight games by a total of less than 24 points, and Friday night was one more where they led for a good portion of the way.
In the first quarter, Johnson County used a three-ball by Clayton Cross to take their early lead at 3-2 with 6:22 remaining in the frame. They ended the quarter with a 16-13 lead, and it would have been more had it not been for three long treys by Unicoi County’s Robbie O’Dell.The game had four lead changes in the second quarter, but the Longhorns were able to grab a four-point halftime lead thanks to the hot shooting of Jackson Earnhardt in the final two minutes.
Both teams came back out after halftime and played dead even as Johnson County fought and clawed its way to a 43-43 tie going into the fourth quarter.The fourth quarter was pretty much a free-throw shooting clinic by the Blue Devils down the stretch as they ended the frame shooting 17-of 28 from the line helping outscore the Horns 24-16, one more point at the foul line than Johnson County’s total. For the game, the Blue Devils went to the line 40 times and made a total of 24, which proved to be the difference.
Head coach Austin Atwood was pleased with his team for the most part except for a few critical moments.
“We are close, and we got to learn to make our breaks, said head coach Austin Atwood. “I was pleased with the way we played the entire game except for a couple of three minutes stretches.” We’re close, but we need to find a way to win a game. Overall I was pleased with the effort they gave.”
NOTE: The girls’ game with Unicoi will be played on Saturday
Unicoi County 54
Johnson County 50
Just like the varsity boys, the JV team lost a heartbreaking game to Unicoi County 54-50 despite a monster second-half rally where they scored 37 points.Preston Greer led the comeback charge with 22 points. Connor Simcox finished with 9, Dalton Robinson 7, and Graham Reece finished with six.