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Growing pains will soon subside

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

It hasn’t been a banner season so far for Johnson County but the boys’ basketball team is gaining some valuable experience for the upcoming years. The Longhorns are currently 10-10 overall and hold down fifth place in the Mountain Lakes Conference.
They’ll have a chance to improve on that should they knock off Happy Valley and Sullivan North this week.
Coach Austin Atwood has tapped the fountain of youth more than anyone in the league. Four of his top seven players are freshmen and sophomores and it’s starting to pay some dividends.

Freshman Bud Icenhour is turning some heads with his play at point guard. He was inserted into a starting role after a two-year senior starter quit the team. He’s averaged almost 10 points a game over the past two weeks and four assists.
Freshman Nathan Arnold had logged tons of playing time coming off the bench as the sixth and seventh man. He’s starting to gain some confidence.

Arnold knocked down a pair of shots in their win over Cloudland including a buzzer beater to end the half. Sean Lewis is another freshman who has seen some varsity minutes.
Austin Houser and Caleb Throop have upped their roles on the inside. The sophomore duo combined for 19 rebounds in their win over Cloudland and both are starting to be more offensive minded when getting the ball on the block.
The Longhorns will need maximum effort from senior Chase Phillips and juniors Cody Bailie and Jose Guzman if they expect to make a run in the District Tournament.

Elizabethton is 7-1 in league play and holds a half game lead over Sullivan South 6-1 for the top spot. Unicoi County is third at 6-2 and Sullivan East is 5-3.
The Longhorns, Happy Valley and Sullivan North all have a single league win. Johnson County could definitely help its seeding with wins over the Warriors and Golden Raiders.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.