JC’s Preston Greer (22) at the free throw line in the horns 61-48 win over Happy Valley. Photo by Joey Icenhour
Longhorns 61, Warriors 48
By Tim Chambers
Johnson County picked up its second win this week by knocking off Happy Valley 61-48 on Friday night inside Ray Shoun Gymnasium. The Longhorns jumped out to a 16-13 lead after one-quarter of play and 32-28 at halftime. But the defense stepped it up in the second half by holding the Warriors to only 20 points.
It was close mainly throughout thanks to five three-pointers made by HV’s Andrew Clawson and Blake Young’s 20 points. But the lead was extended late in the third quarter on seven straight points scored by Jackson Earnhardt.
“Jackson shot the ball well at times, and we expect that from him,” said head coach Austin Atwood. “I thought Simcox hit some big shots when we needed them.”
Atwood went on to say.“They made us play a little bit ugly, which they had to do to win,” said Atwood. Once we got settled in on defense, we made them take some tough shots and got settled in. Clay Stanley is the unsung hero. He probably is the best practice player we’ve ever had. If Connor Simcox becomes a great player, he’ll probably come back here 20 years later and thank Clay. He’s made him work hard, and it’s starting to show.”
Stanley’s hustle played a significant low as he came up with three steals, four rebounds, and two assists in a wild and wacky third quarter. Johnson County took a double-digit lead 46-36 into the final period, which they could maintain throughout.Ethan Bower rolled a pair of fives, five assists, and five points to aid in the win. Simcox logged nine points and seven rebounds. Trevor Gentry collected nine rebounds and scored eight points in a gutsy effort.
The Longhorns will have a busy week to play Hampton at home on Monday, travel to Sullivan Central on Tuesday, and host Elizabethton on Friday’s Senior Night game.