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Heartbreak at South for Lady Horns

Johnson County’s Abby Cornett (11) trying to stop South from scoring an inside shot Friday night at Sullivan South in Kingsport.
The Lady Horns were defeated by South 32-26. Photo by Beth Cox.

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

The Johnson County Lady Longhorns traveled to Sullivan South Friday night but was not able to get their first conference win. Coach Leon Tolley emphasized, “we prepared well for South,” but our inability to make a layup, foul shot, or perimeter shot cost us the game.”
With 1:29 left on the clock in the first quarter, Sadie Stout’s two free throws finally put Johnson County on the scoreboard. Taylor Cox had a tough shooting night but was able to get three shots in the second quarter.
The Lady Rebels’ Alex Harris made four three-point shots the first half of the game. Unfortunately, by the time she was stopped, South had the momentum and the points which put the Lady Horns in a position of trying to catch up offensively, and the missed shots really hurt the Lady Horns going into halftime with a 5-19 deficit.
The second half brought a little hope of a better outcome for the Lady Horns. The third quarter was a struggle for South with the credit going to Johnson County’s strong defense.
The Lady Horns pushed the Lady Rebels outside the perimeter and kept the ball away from Harris, which crippled South’s offense. South was unable to get any additional shots in the third, whereas Johnson County put up twelve points. Going into the fourth quarter, Lady Horns was within four points of the Lady Rebels.
The fourth quarter did not end as Tolley, and his team had hoped. Johnson County was able to get within three points, but with time running out, fouling was the only option the Lady Longhorns had, and South was able to capitalize on the desperation defense.
Tolley hopes the outcome will motivate his team to get in the gym and practice shooting, “The bottom line is you have to spend time in the gym getting shots up and right now we aren’t putting in the work.” Next week the Lady Horns face off with some tough competition; Cloudland on Monday, Crockett at home Tuesday and a home game Friday against Happy Valley. Tolley knows all three games will be very physical, and each team will be aggressive on his players.
“We have to be able to handle that and start scoring the basketball,” he said.
Stout ended the night with ten points, followed by Cox with nine, Abby Cornett with a three-point shot, and Emmy Miller and Natalie Winters with two.