By Tim Chambers
It was a historic day for the Johnson County girl’s basketball program on Saturday as its leading scorer signed on to play college basketball for Alice Lloyd next season. All conference guard Taylor Cox cast her lot to be an Eagle for the school located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. Cox helped lead the Lady Longhorns to a school-record 23 wins this year and led the team in scoring by averaging 15 points per contest. She also scored her 1000th career point and was honored to join Alisha Milan and Michala Cretsinger and Brooke Brown as the most recent ones to achieve that honor.
Cox did it her way while working her way up to the level of being able to play college basketball. She didn’t play in middle school, which led Johnson County head girls basketball coach Leon Tolley to point out that her best years of basketball are in front of her.
“She was part of a really good group of seniors that we had,” said Tolley. “There were a lot of expectations when they came in as freshmen. At times it was hard to live up to it but to Taylor’s credit to watch her as a freshman and see where she ended up at is like night and day. And it’s because of her work ethic, she’s got a great motor and her best basketball is yet to come. Alice Lloyd doesn’t know what they are getting, but she is a diamond in the rough.”
Tolley went on to say about Cox.“It was quite a transformation,” said Tolley about the progress Cox made.”She existed as a freshman and sophomore on pure athletic ability and had no right hand at all. When she learned to use her right hand and learned all the intricacies of basketball, she turned herself into a complete player, and that’s what people don’t understand. They usually start developing these in junior high school and below, but she’s done this in less than four years. She never ran from being a team leader or a vocal one and wasn’t afraid to take the big shot when it was on the line. That rubbed off on the other players. Not only does that look good on her but the other girls and the program that we are trying to create up here.”
Cox was elated with her choice.
“It’s really shocking for me because ever since I started playing, I knew that one day I would love to play in college. I couldn’t have done this without my three coaches or my teammates. I had the best around me.”
Cox stated that Alice Lloyd was much like home to her. “When I walked into that building, I felt so at home. It reminds me a lot of up here. I was sort of nervous at first, but Britian Peele goes there, and so did Isaiah Penley, and that helped ease my mind knowing they were from here. They said it was a really good school.”
Cox said that not getting to play in the regional tournament game that Johnson County lost at South Greene by one point left a bitter taste.
“I didn’t want my career to end like that,” she said. I want to go up there and be a good team player and help them win games.”
She thanked her coaches, teammates, family, and friends for helping her get where she was. She plans on going into the education field. She is not going to rule out coaching either. Taylor is the daughter of Craig and Beth Cox. Her mother agreed it had been a long road for Taylor.
“Craig and I loved sports, so when the kids were younger, we would take them with us when we wanted to play tennis and basketball. We were very competitive, and we were tough on them. To see her get this chance at something she really wanted to do is very special to us all.”
Basketball wasn’t the only sport in which Cox excelled. She played in two state tennis tournaments, and as a sophomore and a junior and likely a third had the COVID-19 virus not have canceled this year’s event.