By Beth Cox
Johnson County traveled to Alcoa High School to take on the Alcoa Tornadoes Saturday night in the regional quarterfinals. The boys had both endurance and strength as they were matched up against the Tornadoes, but it just was not enough as they struggled to maintain the lead from Alcoa throughout the night.
The Longhorns briefly took the lead by two at the end of the second quarter. The hope of a victory was increasing among the Longhorn fans, but Johnson County overestimated Alcoa with the Tornadoes’ Joseph Carter put away two tre’s early in the third quarter. Dalton Robinson bounced back with his own three-point shot making it a one-point game. Alcoa then went on a three-point streak in the fourth quarter, pushing the Longhorns further behind, with a 49-42 score. The Longhorns got the ball into Parsons and Simcox, with Robinson and Graham Reece trying to get in a few threes. Reece added three points to the scoreboard while Robinson put away 13 for the night. In the end, it was not enough for the Longhorns; they lost to Alcoa by five (61-66).
The Longhorns missed some needed points but outplayed the Tornadoes defensively in the first half of the game. Offensively, Zack Parsons could not be stopped under the basket. He had ten points in the first half of the game with 20 overall. He got help from Connor Simcox as they traded off passes and shots around the post. Simcox put down 14 points against Alcoa.
Point guard Preston Greer got in foul trouble early, which had him out of the game more than Coach Austin Atwood wanted him to be. He fouled out in the fourth quarter, with nine points for the night.
Atwood was proud of his guys throughout this game and all season, “these boys are a good group of guys. They gave all they had every game. I’m proud of their efforts this year.”
Atwood added, “They played well against a good team. A few possessions didn’t go our way, but I was proud of how hard we played, especially our seniors.”
The Longhorns ended the season with a 15-17 record.