By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Christmas is over but the middle school boys and girls basketball teams at Johnson County are about to get their biggest surprise of the season come Tuesday. Leading scorers Zach Eller and Destiny Cole are set to return after missing the last month with a pair of injuries.
Eller has mended from a broken wrist he suffered in early December. Cole is hoping to be back as well for the Lady Longhorns.
It was hard for Eller who was on a roll before going at Ashe County. He was coming off a pair of games where he scored 26 and 20 points respectively. But he feels like his team has gotten better in his absence.
It was hard watching them play especially in the Christmas tournament over at Bluff City, said Eller. I wanted to be out there helping them. But they all stepped up their game and thats something that weve been needing. I hope everyone plays like that with me back in the lineup. We can be the best team in our league if they do.
Eller liked what he saw when his teammates defeated Mary Hughes 55-54 and Unaka in overtime during the event. It was definitely a total team effort.
Gavin Reece had a pair of games in which he shot the lights out. Troy Arnold provided double-doubles despite being smaller than most of the post players that he went up against. But the play of Jayden Joiner and Nathan Lane proved to be the difference maker.
I knew we had it in us, said Eller. We lost twice to Chucky-Doak but I think we can beat them now. Were hoping to win the District and I think we can if all of us keep working hard. Me being out probably helped us get better.
The same thing could hold true for middle school ladies.
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