By Tim Chambers
ELIZABETHTON—The Lady Longhorns were within nine seconds of earning another win over Elizabethton but got “Shell-shocked” in the end. Kaylen Shell drove the length of the court and bank in a floating 5-footer with 02 seconds remaining to help the Cyclones earn a dramatic 55-54 overtime win.
A large crowd was on the edge of their seats inside of Treadway Gymnasium witness the event. Johnson County held a 49-45 lead in the fourth quarter with 1:07 seconds remaining only to see the Cyclones close regulation on a 4-0 run.
Shell’s heroics came after Taylor Cox had put Johnson County up 54-53 on a runner in the paint with 9.5 seconds remaining.
Head coach Leon Tolley was still proud of his Lady Longhorns.
“A couple of them got their wires crossed there at the end, but it shouldn’t have come down to that,” said Tolley. “I should have put Abby Cornett, our best on-ball defender in the game and didn’t. I couldn’t be any more proud of them because we played as a team and we played together for the first time in weeks. We played shorthanded without Hazlee Kleine, and Emmy Miller was sick but tried to play. We got some good minutes from Rhiannon Icenhour, and Jacey Eshelman and our kids played their hearts out, and they played for one another. Hopefully, this is the way it’s going to be all the time.”
Slugfest first half
Neither team could land the fatal blow during the first half. The Cyclones led 9-7 after one and 21-18 at halftime.
The Horns got seven points by Sadie Stout and six more from Taylor Cox to stay in the hunt during the first two quarters. Shell and Abby Townsend had six each for the Cyclones, but the Horns would get the upper hand in the third.
The Longhorns begin to whittle away at the deficit and finally took the lead on two free throws by Taylor Parsons at 29-28. Stout recorded six in the frame while Parsons added five giving the Longhorns a 37-34 lead heading into the fourth.
The tide turns
on the Horns
It appeared as if the Horns would hang on for the win after Cox hit six consecutive points that gave Johnson County a 49-45 advantage with 1:07 remaining. The Cyclones found new life when Headrick tied the game by sinking two free throws with 32 seconds remaining sending the game into overtime.
Parsons canned a trey, giving Johnson County a 52-51 advantage but Townsend answered with a deuce putting Betsy back in front.
Cox looked to have the game-winner when she sank a runner with 09 seconds left, but Shell drove the floor and kissed one off the glass giving Elizabethton the win.
“We wanted to get to the rim,” said Cyclones head coach Lucas Andrews on Shell’s clutch shot at the
end. “We just wanted to
get there and see if we could get a good shot or rebound a miss.”
Cox and Stout led the Longhorns with 16 points each. Parsons added a double-double, 11 points, and ten rebounds. Miller gathered six boards.
Headrick scored a game-high 20 points and had nine rebounds for the Cyclones. Shell provided 16 points, four steals, and five boards.
Johnson County is now 8-10 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Elizabethton stands at 3-12 overall and 2-5 in league play.
Johnson Co. 7 11 19 12 0 -54
Elizabethton 9 12 13 15 6 -55