By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The friendly confines inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium couldnt prevent Johnson County from dropping its fifth straight game on Monday. They fell 52-43 to Cloudland after leading at the half 27-17. The Lady Longhorns came up on the short end 56-39.
Johnson County 43
It was a carbon copy of their last two games played at the Hardees Classic. They shot well in the first half but couldnt hit the broadside of a barn during the second one. They also were minus 16 in the rebounding department.
When youre not a very good team you have to defend and rebound, said head coach Austin Atwood. We didnt do either and were not very good. This team is meek and one of the weakest that weve had in a few years. Well have to work hard to get a win. So far weve not done that.
The Highlanders opened the game scoring the first six points but Johnson County battled back to tie the game at 14-14 after one.
The Longhorns grabbed the momentum in the second frame with Jose Guzman leading the way. He bagged four three-pointers, two in each quarter helping Johnson County to a 27-17 advantage at the half.
But things went sour from that point.
Cloudland opened the third quarter with a three-ball by Coby Birchfield and Jason Potters basket to cut the lead in half. They continued to whittle away and finally took the lead for good.
Jessie Potters three-ball gave them the lead, then Preston Benfields trifecta put them in front to stay.
The Highlanders outscored Johnson County 20-5 in the quarter and led 37-32 heading into the final frame.
Guzman tried to spark a rally by nailing a jumper to start the fourth. But it didnt take long for the flame to flicker out.
The Longhorns got within four on three occasions but each time Benfield responded.
He hit a pair of baskets to offset the two made by Bailie. The Highlanders would cash in on 9-of-10 from the foul line down the stretch with Birchfield being perfect on his four attempts.
Guzman and Bailie were the bulk of Johnson Countys offense, scoring 18 and 12 points respectively.
Benfield tallied 15 and Birchfield provided 13 points and eight rebounds to lead the Highlanders. Cloudland out-rebounded the Highlanders 29-13.
Dalton Vines matched Birchfields eight boards. Benfield collected six.
Johnson County will travel to Elizabethton on Friday to play the Cyclones.
Johnson County 39
The Lady Longhorns battled Cloudland on even terms for most of the first quarter until a last minute run helped them pull away.
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