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Cherokee Braves slip by Longhorns

The JCHS Longhorns made the journey down to Cherokee, North Carolina last week to take on the Cherokee High School Braves. The game was close all the way through but the Longhorns could never quite overtake Cherokee, ending the game 66-69. Yet, despite the loss, the Longhorns did very well, especially considering the long drive and differences in North Carolina’s rules.
According to Coach Austin Atwood, “Well, we played boys JV and boys varsity and the rules are different down there. We play kids on both, but there you’ve got to either play JV or varsity. So we had to mismatch our team a little bit, it left us short a few players and Ryan Mahala was sick. But overall, having to drive that far, they had a good time and enjoyed the trip. I just wish we could have ended up a little better on the game. They were 6 and 2 for the season, and were a little better than I expected them to be.”
Johnson County didn’t trail very far behind in the first half, with the Longhorns making 10 to Cherokee’s 16 in the first quarter and then scoring another 17 by the half. After being injured for several games, Chase Kleine was back on the court and on the scoreboard as well, making a bucket at the beginning of the second quarter. Along with Klein, T.J. Patterson, Chase Phillips, and Dalton Timbs all made gains as well.
Considering the changes on the bench for this game, Atwood seemed very pleased with the whole team’s performance. “They had about a 6’8’’ kid that’s been recruited by Western Carolina; Carlton Tugman did a good job on him. They had a couple of good shooters, and they made a big shot late to go up. We may make this game a yearly thing, they are really good people and it was a good experience for our kids. We played in about a 35 million dollar facility. They have six gyms in their school with a football field like a college stadium. The boys enjoyed that too.”
Although Johnson County did pretty well in the second quarter, gaining 17 points to Cherokee’s 15, the third quarter wasn’t as favorable. Despite several free throws by Dusty Stout and Carlton Tugman and two three-pointers by Dalton Timbs, the Longhorns still ended the quarter 46-54. The Longhorns again made bigger gains than Cherokee in the fourth quarter but were simply down too far at the end of the third, closing the game 66-69.
“We didn’t rebound real well,” said Atwood. “I think they had nine offensive rebounds in the first half which is ultimately what beat us. We went on a run late in the first half. We were down by ten but then went on the run and went up by two. We came out in the third quarter and went up a few points, but they made a run there at the end of the third and we just struggled to get back into it.”

Final Scores
Dalton Timbs 19
Dusty Stout 12
Carlton Tugman 11
Brian Dempsey 6
Andy Stout 6
Chase Phillips 5
T.J. Patterson 4
Chase Kleine 2
Quinton Wright 1