aIn their first real blowout of the season the Lady Longhorns blasted past the Sullivan North Lady Raiders in a game they dominated from start to finish. Because North has only young players, Johnson County kept seniors Sarah Swift and Kristin Roark off the court, but with Brooke Brown, Brionna Reece, Mary Taylor, and Brandy Dugger leading the way, Johnson County was able to put up 24 points before the Lady Raiders even got on the board. Even then, Norths first point was a free throw. Coupled with a single bucket at just 21 seconds left in the period, the first quarter finished up with a huge Johnson County lead at 26-3.
Although they struggled on and never quit trying, the second quarter went even worse for the Lady Raiders, giving them just one foul shot for the whole eight-minute run. Seeing an opportunity to give some of their younger players good experience, Assistant Coach Stacy Reece began pulling from the bench. I thought we played well, Reece said. Dawn Lewis, Kelsey Duperry, Amanda Potter, theyre all going to have to step up next year and the years after that, so any experience they can get in a match up, Im all for it. They went out there and remembered what they were supposed to do, filled their roles, and did a pretty good job.
The game slowed a little as some of the new players took to the court, but even then the Longhorns continued to climb. With Dawn Lewis taking over as point guard and Gianna Lay and Amanda Potter on defense, North continued to struggle, making most of their points off of fouls. Halfway through the third period the score was 51-5 in Johnson Countys favor, and the girls from Sullivan North were becoming understandably frustrated.
Becoming increasingly more physical, the game almost came to blows as Gianna Lay stepped in to fight for control of a loose ball. The girl basically just pushed me, Lay said. I felt like I was going for the ball but apparently my arm got wrapped around her neck and I got mad. I was jerking my arm trying to get her to let go and I just slammed her down. I felt like a wrestler. I was just thinking stay calm, dont get suspended, good sportsmanship, and just dont do anything stupid. It was a really good game, but of course we cant do it without everyone because we all play as one. It just felt great to finally be on the end where youre the one stepping on their throat.
The incident resulted in a double technical foul and both girls sat out the rest of the game. Lay walked away willingly while Norths player had to be escorted by the coaches, a fact that Coach Reece pointed out. Gianna Lay showed great self-restraint, Reece said. In a game like this where things are a little bit lopsided, the refs sometimes let some things go, and understandably. She got pushed and she pushed back a little bit, but then she calmly walked to the sidelines and Im proud of her self control there. She didnt go back in but I thought she handled herself pretty well. Its a tough situation when youre 15 or 16 and thats what youve got to remember. These are teenage girls and I though she showed a lot of maturity.
By the end of the third North had managed to finally break into the double digits with 11 points while Johnson County had topped 60. Pulling out all of their older players, the fourth quarter was the slowest offensively for Johnson County, but with the exception of a Lady Raider three- pointer with 15 seconds on the clock the Lady Longhorns still held their opponents at bay to walk away with a huge 69-14 win.
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