By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson Countys performance against Bluff City Middle School was like watching a prize race horse spring out of the gate on Tuesday. The Longhorns took fifth place with an impressive 41-29 win in the Bulldog Christmas 7th Grade Tournament played at Hampton Elementary School.
They built a 21-2 halftime lead and put it on cruise control over the final two quarters. Head coach Devin Shaw said it was the type of performance he had envisioned.
We played a near perfect first half and everyone came out ready, said Shaw. Our message was to play well during the first two minutes of the game and the last two. We didnt do that when we lost to T.A. Dugger in the first round. We came back and played well against Cloudland and then again today. Youve got to bring energy on the court in every game and we didnt do that the first day. Im glad to see them bound back the way they did. Third place was a good accomplishment for this group.
Four points by Ryan Morefield and baskets each by Isaiah Eller and Cody Norris got the Longhorns off to a good start.
They continued to play well in the second quarter after building a 12-2 advantage.
Trevor Gentry had a pair of baskets in the second quarter that increased their advantage at 14. Deuces by Dylan Rhymer and Cody Norris stretched their lead to 20.
The Grizzlies hit a pair of treys in the third quarter to make things interesting. Isaac Grubbs and Mason Montgomery connected from long range but the Longhorns had an answer.
Clayton Cross nailed a three-ball en route to his seven points in the quarter. Buckets each from Ian Norris and Gentry made it 33-12 going into the final frame.
Shaw emptied the bench to start the fourth quarter but Bluff City would slice the deficit to 10. An 8-0 run with four starters back on the floor enabled him to flood the floor with reserves for a second time.
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