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Horns need strong finish, eyeing district playoffs

Brookanna Hutchins goes for two at home Thursday night against West Ridge High School. Photo by Joey Icenhour

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

Johnson County High School Head Coach Austin Atwood was ready for the Longhorns to take on 4A West Ridge High School at home Thursday night.
The boys managed to do a great job staying with West Ridge in the first quarter.
While missing several key shots, the Horns’ defense kept the Wolves from scoring; even taking the lead in the first quarter.
West Ridge, however, took control in the second. The Wolves came out shooting with number 10, Cooper Johnson leading the pack.
At one point, things got a little heated in the second quarter between the referees and Atwood. The players had a few exchanges as well, but as the second quarter ended, the Wolves were ahead by only ten points (37-27). Atwood sat his varsity players in the second half of the game and played his JV team. The Longhorns were scheduled to play a big conference game against West Greene Friday night.
The JV team proved to everyone they had talent and skill. Skylar Lawson controlled the ball well and was able to get some shots around the perimeter. Lawson, along with Connor Pierce, led the team in points. Each had ten points. Dalton Pope was right behind them with nine points. The scoreboard showed contributions from each player. Early  in the game, Graham Reece put down back-to-back threes’ and was instrumental with assists to post players.
The Wolves were able to stop the top shooters. Preston Greer and Zack Parsons contributed five points each. Austin West and Dalton Robinson had three, with Eli Dickens, Connor Simcox, and Peyton Pavusek all had two. Dalton Osborne had one, but he was also a fighter on defense. The final score was 58-82. “I thought Connor, Skylar, and Austin did a good job for us,” Atwood said while pleased with the performance of his JV team. “They have really stepped up here lately.”
When asked about next week’s games, Atwood simply said, “we are in control of our own destiny.”
If Johnson County wins both conference games, Chuckey Doak on Tuesday and West Greene on Friday, the Longhorns will be number one in the conference, and puts them in a
good position for district playoffs.
“Basically, we will have to play mistake-free basketball, no turnovers, watch our fouls, and rebound the ball,” Atwood said.