By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County failed to reel in the big fish once again after having them on the hook for nearly the entire game. Elizabethton snapped the line in the final period and won 54-50 in a contest that went down to the wire.
Head Coach Austin Atwood had his squad ready for the second place Cyclones and it showed from the get-go. They led throughout the first half and were knocking on the door when the final horn sounded.
We went through a couple of stretches when we turned the ball over in bunches and never got any points out of it, said Atwood. I thought we defended and rebounded well but those lapses we had hurt us tonight in the game.
The Longhorns used a pair of treys by Bud Icenhour and five points from Jose Guzman to surge in front 15-8 after one. But the Cyclones would storm back in the second quarter behind the trio tandem of Bo Pless, Michael Robinsion and Teve Mushayamunda.
Bud Icenhours basket made it 17-9 but a runner by Robinson and a three-ball from Pless triggered a 13-3 run which saw Elizabethton take the lead.
Robinsons jumper gave them the lead at 22-20 but five consecutive points, including a trey by Guzman, put the Horns back up 25-24 after Mushayamundas two free throws.
Johnson County got a late three-ball from Icenhour to go up 28-24, but a free throw and Alex Norwoods basket at the buzzer got Betsy within one at the half.
Elizabethton wasted no time grabbing the lead behind their freshmen duo of Carter Everett and Wilson. The pair hit back-to-back buckets to put their team up by three, but Johnson County would answer.
Cody Bailie provided the spark with six straight points during a one-minute stretch that tied the game at 36 all.
His three-point play put the Horns up 40-37 but Wilson sank a clutch trey at the buzzer to pull the Cyclones even going into the final quarter.
The two team swapped baskets to start the final period then Mushayamunda drained a three-ball to make it 45-42.
Elizabethton extended their lead at 50-44 on a Robinson basket with 1:42 showing but the Horns werent going down without a fight.
Nathan Arnolds five clutch points including a three cut the deficit to one at 50-49 with .59 seconds remaining and more importantly got the Longhorn fans back in the game.
Elizabethton missed the front end of a one-and-one after Johnson County had fouled and Bailie was hacked on their next possession. He hit 1-of-2 to tie the game at 50 all at the half-minute mark.
The Longhorns thought they had gotten a defensive stop when Mushayamunda got the ball on the box and appeared to shuffle his feet on a made basket. But it was allowed and the Horns had their three-point shot attempt blocked with 04 seconds remaining.
Robinson was fouled and calmly sank a pair allowing Elizabethton to escape with the win.
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