By Tim Chambers
Trying to knock off the Lady Bulldogs can be a difficult task when playing them inside the friendly confines of VanHuss-White Gymnasium. Trying to do it minus your two leading scorers makes the odds even greater of doing so.
Despite a limited roster, the Lady Longhorns played hard before falling to Hampton 48-35 on Thursday in a non-conference rival game.
The odds might have been better for Johnson County had it not been for the play of Campbell University signee Shyanne Tuelle. She finished the game with 22 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Bulldogs.
That plus a nine-minute stretch without scoring were definitely the two biggest factors in the game.
“We were kind of prepared to go without Emmy (Miller), then Sadie (Stout) gets sick 30 minutes before the game and can’t go,” said Tolley. “That put us having to shuffle some people into different spots. We were down 18-14, and we should have been up by six or eight with all the layups we missed. We had our down time where we couldn’t make a shot and they go on a big run without us scoring. The stretch before the half ended and early in the third quarter when we didn’t score put us in too deep of a hole. We just couldn’t dig out of it.”
The Bulldogs used a pair of treys by Kinzy Hill and a couple of baskets by Tuelle to aid in their 16-10 lead after one.
They stretched the lead to nine in the early going, but Taylor Parsons’ second three got them within five at 19-14 at the 4:46 mark.
Longhorns go ice cold from the field
From there the Lady Horns went ice cold from the field. They missed the next six shots unlike Tuelle who converted her last three attempts.
Hampton led 28-14 at the half.
Hampton’s run continued in the third quarter and the lead grew to 20 on Hazen Brumitt’s basket but the drought would finally end after nine minutes.
Horns battle back but come up short
Taylor Cox connected on a three and so did Abby Cornett. Adrian Hall added five points including a three-ball that finally cut the large deficit in half at 10.
The Longhorns had two chances to get it under double digits but missed a shot and then turned it over. That’s when Tuelle took over.
She tallied eight more points in the final quarter including two baskets by posting up in the paint.
Tolley said it was the matter of their best player wanting the ball at the end.
“They got a little rattled when we cut it to 10. We were changing up defenses and stuff but that’s when a player like Shy steps up. She posted up and stopped the run when we got close. We need somebody in situations like that who wants the basketball. We need someone who wants to guard the other team’s best player. Shy is that type of player.”
Game leading stats
Courtney Brooks was the only Lady Longhorn in double-digits with 10. Cox had eight points off the bench including two treys. Parsons finished with six points and seven rebounds. Hall tallied five points and grabbed a game high eight rebounds. Abby Cornett also tallied six points.
Tolley said that he and his staff have been searching for the right combinations. That could be determined by their next game.”
“We’re going to shorten the bench after Christmas,” added Tolley. “We’re seeing who can and who can’t handle the pressure. It’s been an open competition through nine games but we need consistency. That’s what we’re looking for right now.”
Hill finished with eight points as no other Lady Bulldog reached double figures.
Tolley thinks his team could be good over the long haul, but for now it’s a wait and see thing.
“We’re seeing some good things at times but nothing has been consistent,” added Tolley. “At times we show great character and resilience and that’s what makes it so hard to watch us go nine minutes without scoring. For whatever reason we couldn’t knock shots down. Right now we just can’t get out of our own way. We’re playing good teams so we must raise our level of play. We don’t have much margin for error.”
Hampton 48, Johnson County 35
Johnson Co. (35)
C. Brooks 10, Cox 8, Parsons 6, Cornett 6, Hall 5, Winters 0, B. Brook 0.
Tuelle 22, Hill 8, Campbell 6, Royston 6, Hughes 2, Brumitt 2, Guinn 2
Johnson Co. 10 4 12 9 — 35
Hampton 16 12 12 8 — 48
3-point goals—JC 7 (Cox 2, Parsons 2, Cornett 2, Hall 1) Hampton 2 (Hill 2)