By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
BLUFF CITY Not even Santa could have brought a more perfect gift to Kechia Eller and her Lady Longhorns on Friday. For the first time in a blue moon girls basketball has something to hang their hat on in Johnson County.
The Middle School Longhorns defeated Hunter 35-32 to win the Bluff City Middle School Christmas Tournament. And the gold plaque they took home didnt come easy in the three games that they won there.
They defeated Vance in overtime on Monday, then squeezed out a two-point win over Mary Hughes on Thursday. They found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter of this game but the cardiac kids found a way to win.
Its been a long time since girls basketball has brought back a first place trophy to Johnson County so that was our motivation going into this tournament, said head coach Kechia Eller. These girls have heart and they played hard and were able to accomplish that. They really wanted this one.
A seven-point outburst from Abby Cornett in the first quarter enabled Johnson County to stay even in the first quarter. Sadie Stouts jumper in the closing seconds tied the game at 9-9 after one.
Both teams struggled to hit shots in the second quarter with neither team being able to mount more than a two-point advantage.
Natalie Winters scored a pair of baskets for the Longhorns but they still trailed 15-14 at the intermission.
It appeared as if Hunter might gain the momentum when Jada Whitehead made a steal and layup to open the third quarter for the Lady Tigers. Instead, that play woke the Longhorns up.
Winters and Alexis Headley each bagged a deuce, then Adrian Hall knocked one down that put Johnson County up 22-19.
A key moment in the game came after Cydney Forney had tied the game with a free throw at 24 all with 4.8 seconds remaining.
Winters quickly took the inbounds pass, drove to the foul line and nailed a jumper as time expired.
Johnson County led 26-24 heading into the fourth.
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