By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Happy Valley’s Austin Hicks will put his signature on scholarship papers with ETSU in football on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he had a signature game scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the Warriors.
His output helped propel the Tribe to a 73-68 overtime win in front of a large crowd inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
His performance overshadowed a remarkable fourth quarter comeback by the Longhorns who nearly snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.
A three-ball by Brayden Sams and a basket by Hicks had enabled the Warriors to grab a comfortable 49-37 advantage with 6:03 remaining in the game. That’s when the Longhorns took them out of their comfort zone.
“We just got down too much and part of that was my fault,” said Johnson County’s head coach Austin Atwood. “I put us in a bad position a couple of times. We never got into any type of offensive rhythm until the fourth quarter.”
Blake Atwood stroked a pair of treys that got the lead down to seven at 53-46 at the 4:30 mark. It was game on from there.
The Horns kept whittling away, taking advantage of some missed free throws by the Warriors. Back-to-back deuces from Nathan Arnold and Jordan Edes edged them close at 62-60 with 13 seconds remaining.
Happy Valley elected to foul Isaiah Rhodes who went to the line with 11 seconds on the clock. The junior southpaw converted 1-of-2 leaving the door open for Johnson County to tie.
The Longhorns advanced the ball quickly, skipping a pass over the defense to Sean Lewis on the left wing. The crafty junior tickled the twine on a three-ball at the buzzer that would send the game into overtime.
The momentum was definitely in Johnson County’s favor until Hicks decided to elevate his game just a bit more.
He scored all 10 of Happy Valley’s points in the overtime period including 8-of-9 from the foul line. His three-point play in the overtime period put them in front at 68-65 after both teams had swapped a pair of free throws.
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