By Tim Chambers
Johnson County managed to stay even with Elizabethton for one quarter before the dust settled. That was not to be over the final three periods.
The Cyclones stormed their way to a 66-44 win on Friday inside of jam-packed Ray Shoun Gymnasium on Friday. It was the season opener for both teams in the Three Rivers Conference. It was the final minute of the second quarter that did them in.
The Longhorns had pulled to within four at 25-21 on baskets by Austin Houser and Jordan Edes with 2:09 remaining before intermission. Elizabethton ended the half on a 7-2 run and led 32-23 at the break.
“They were a little too good for us to get into our bench play,” said Atwood. “We were up one and got two starters in foul trouble. By the time we could get them back in, we trailed by seven. We tied the game again and then Sean Lewis gets in foul trouble. He leaves the game and we get down by 11. You take that plus our guard play wasn’t very good and neither was our defense. They hit their shots but we gave them a lot of open looks. I was very disappointed in the way we defended.”
The Cyclones got 13 points from Michael Robinson in the first half and five more in the third. But the damage came from Alex Norwood who netted four baskets in the paint.
‘Betsy held a comfortable 50-29 advantage heading into the final quarter. The storm would calm over the final eight minutes with both teams playing even.
Robinson ended the night with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists.
“We play together and try to win together,” said Robinson. “I felt like we did that here tonight.”
Robinson got added help from Adam Cornett who totaled 14 points, hitting four treys. Norwood added 10 points and eight boards. Jacob Norris tallied 10 points, giving Elizabethton four players in double figures. Corey Russell had five points and five assists. Eric Wilson contributed seven rebounds.
The Longhorns were led by Jordan Edes’ 12 points. Bud Icenhour finished with 11 and Sean Lewis eight. Austin Houser provided six points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Nathan Arnold was good for five rebounds.