By Tim Chambers
ERWIN—History was in the making at Erwin on Friday, and the Lady Longhorns weren’t about to let it slip away. Johnson County took control of their game with Unicoi County in the second quarter and came away with a 56-44 win.
It was the first victory ever by a Lady Longhorns’ squad inside the Lady Devils’ current gymnasium. Head coach Leon Tolley touched on his team’s success and their ability to take care of the basketball.
“We told our kids that when we got the 10 point lead that we were still going to try and score but play smart with the lead,” said Tolley. “We took a couple of questionable shots early and made them, but then we missed a few in the second half. They begin to chase us, and we told the kids not to shoot nothing but a layup or foul shot. They did a good job down of sticking to our game plan.”
dominate the second quarter
The Lady Horns fell behind early, but a basket by Taylor Cox and a three-point play from Sadie Stout allowed them to pull even at 7-7.
Taylor Parsons gave the Horns their first lead at 9-7, but a three-ball from Chloe Hendrickson gave the Devils a 10-9 lead after one.
The Longhorns were able to move back in front early in the second quarter behind two free throws from Abby Cornett and a nice drive and layin from Cox. Emmy Miller stretched the lead to six with four free throws to give them a 21-16 advantage.
The Horns closed the quarter on a surge getting a three-point basket each by Parsons and Cox.
They led 29-20 at the half.
“We’ve been so close before but couldn’t come away with a win,” said Parsons. “We weren’t about to let this one get away. We want teams to respect us because we’re tired of all the losses in previous years. We feel like we’ve got a “
good team too.”
Longhorns bend but
Four points each by Parsons and Cox kept the lead at 10 for most of the third quarter. The Blue Devils got within six, but a nice drive and layup by Natalie Winters built their advantage back to eight.
held a nine-point lead going into the final quarter when the Lady Blue Devils would mount a desperation comeback. They got within five at 46-41 on a deuce from
Allee Griffith, but the Horns would quickly counter.
Winters stayed hot at the charity stripe canning four tosses while Parsons added three more and a little floater to extend it back to a dozen.
As the seconds counted down, the Lady Longhorns celebrated their first road victory ever over the Lady Blue Devils.
Lady Longhorn Leaders
Parsons had a huge night with 15 points and seven rebounds. Cox also added 15 points and five boards. Winters collected eight points including 4-of-4 from the foul line and dished out four assists. Stout provided seven points and six rebounds. Miller tossed in six points
and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. The Horns also got some good play
off the bench from Cornett and Hazlee Kleine. Cornett tallied four points while Kleine produced four key rebounds.
Tolley pointed to some prior games that got
them ready for their historic win.
“We didn’t play well in our loss at Unaka, and Gate City roughed us up a bit but got us ready for this. I’m proud of the girls because we played straight man defense the entire way and that is the first time we’ve done that. Tonight we were the aggressor. I’m really proud of how well they played.”
Johnson Co. 9 20 13 14 –56
Unicoi Co. 10 10 13 11 –44
3-point goals—JC 1 (Cox) UC 2 (Hendrickson, Ca. Powers)
JOHNSON CO. (56)
Parsons 15, Cox 15, Winters 8, Stout 7, Miller 6, Cornett 4, Kleine 1
UNICOI COUNTY (44)
Hendrickson 12, Ch. Powers 10, Vance 8, Griffith 8, Ca. Powers 4, Street 2.