By Tim Chambers
ROAN MOUNTAIN—Sonny Smith Gymnasium has been a tough place to win for several good high school basketball. That wasn’t the case for Johnson County on Tuesday.
The Longhorns put on a second half clinic en route to their 60-38 win in non-league play. They trailed 22-19 at intermission but outscored the home team by a whopping 41-16 margin over the final two stanzas.
“They missed a few shots and we didn’t give them any second chances,” said JCHS’ head coach Austin Atwood about his team’s second half performance. “I thought our rebounding was excellent and we did a great job defending. Cloudland got 16 offensive rebounds the night before against Happy Valley so it was important to keep them off the board. We didn’t have a good weekend so it was nice to see them bounce back and play well. I’m super proud of these kids. It was a great effort by everyone.”
The Horns held an 11-9 first quarter advantage with the help of two treys by Nathan Arnold and another one from Bud Icenhour.
They continued to hit shots from long range but not enough of them.
Sean Lewis tied the game at 14 all with a long trey, then Zach Eller knotted it at 19-19 with a trifecta after Cloudland had gone on a 5-0 run.
The Highlanders enjoyed a 22-19 halftime advantage thanks to Robert Leeper’s three-point play in the final seconds.
But the momentum shifted quickly in the second half.
Icenhour’s long trey tied the game at 22 all and triggered what would lead to a 13-2 run.
The junior guard fired in eight points in the frame and Jordan Edes bagged four charity tosses from the stripe. He and Austin Houser’s dominance on the inside allowed the Horns to take a 36-27 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Things went south for the Landers after Icenhour scorched the nets for a trio of treys and Eller added another in the final period. For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.