By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
It’s been one and done for Johnson County in the District Tournament in back-to-back seasons, but the Horns are hoping to turn the tide in 2016-17.
Head coach Austin Atwood has reason to be optimistic despite losing four players off last year’s squad that finished the year 9-20.
The Horns showed some athleticism in Thursday’s jamboree against David Crockett, especially at the guard position.
Atwood touched on his team and likes the make-up of this group.
“We’ve got depth at the guard position so that definitely will be our strength,” said Atwood. “I think we’ll be able to play a little more up tempo but we’ll be an unfinished product for a while. It’s going to take some time for us to learn how to play the way we want to play as a team. But it’s been a long time since we could run up and down the floor at this pace. We like what we’ve seen so far.”
Gone from last year’s squad are Codie Bailie, Jose Guzman, Caleb Throop and Brandon Vannoy, but Atwood feels like he has the personnel to step in and make a difference.
“We’re going to miss those guys because they played a lot of valuable minutes, but we never could seem to gel last year,” added Atwood. “Jose was hurt and Codie had some problems with his back. We’re much deeper this year and that should allow us to play more players. It’s all still a work in progress.”
Leading the way will be junior guard Bud Icenhour (6’0,) who averaged nearly 13 points per game last season. Nathan Arnold (6’3, Jr.) started last season and played the role as the team’s blue collar guy.
“We’re counting on both those guys to step up and lead,” said Atwood.
“A lot of things we do will go through Bud. We have to get him, Nathan, Jordan (Edes-King) and Zack (Eller) back into basketball shape. Bud can be one of the better guards in the area. Nathan has to play well inside because of his size. Edes-King runs the floor well and he’s athletic.”
Joining the duo in the lineup will be Austin Houser (6’4, Sr.), Sean Lewis (6’0, Jr.) and Blake Atwood (5’11, So.).
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