By Tim Chambers
BLUFF CITY—Johnson County gave Sullivan East everything it wanted and then some throughout the quarterfinal boys game. It was a hostile environment for the Longhorns who were trying to find their legs after a double-overtime win on Wednesday.
Over half the gym wore shirts that said 4JD in support of East’s retiring head coach John Dyler. A loss would have eliminated Dyer and his Patriots, but it would happen on this day.
The Horns trailed by only four points in the third quarter, but the red hot shooting by the Patriots would do them in.
They connected on 11 treys in the game on 20 attempts. Long ranger bomber Dylan Bartley totaled 26 points and sank 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Eric Haire also hit a trio of treys en route to 13 points. To make matters even though East’s 6’5 post player Mason Montgomery stepped out and caught three from behind the three-point line for all of his nine points.
The much taller Patriots had trouble stopping JC’s Michael Oxentine inside, who ended the game with 24 points.
The Patriots defense held JC’s Lucas Phillips to 14 points after he had hit for 40 in their previous game. Trevor Greer came off the bench to add six points. Zack Parson was a key factor
scoring nine points for the Horns.
East opened up a 20 plus point lead in the final stanza and cruised from there.
The Horns finish at 8-30 after reaching the sub-state game last year.
Head coach Austin Atwood praised his team in defeat.
“Lucas Phillips, Michael Oxentine, and Darren Cunningham have been a part of some big wins that we’ve had here,” said Atwood. “They played hard. We just missed too many easy shots today that we would normally make. John’s kids are playing hard for him, and they’ll be tough to beat, especially over here. We’ll be looking at ways to get better in the offseason. We’ve got some good kids coming back next year that gained some valuable experience.”