By Tim Chambers
The basketball picture was ugly for three quarters at Happy Valley Middle School on Monday. In the fourth quarter Johnson County made it a thing of beauty. The Horns fought and clawed their way to a hard-fought 31-25 league road win.
It came on a night when both teams had trouble finding the basket. JCMS head coach Devin Shaw was happy to get the win at a tough venue.
“We didn’t play very well, but it’s good when you can leave here with a win,” said JCMS’ head coach Devin Shaw. “It’s a tough place to play at and we struggled with it tonight. We finally started making shots late in the third quarter and that carried over in the fourth. I thought our kids rebounded well. Clayton, Ryan and Stacy did a good job of dominating the boards the entire game.”
The Longhorns’ offense sputtered the entire first half and didn’t find a spark until late in the third quarter.
They trailed 4-3 after one and 13-11 at the half.
Clayton Cross sparked the Horns in the third period by tossing in six consecutive points. His steal and layup put them up 18-17 in the final seconds, but that was short lived.
A long three at the buzzer by Timmy Mounts allowed the Warriors to stay in front 20-18 heading into the fourth.
But then the momentum swung Johnson County’s way.
Cross tied the game with a runner to start the quarter, then two free throws by Ryan Morefield put them in front to stay at 22-20.
The dagger came on a three-point play by Cross and a long trey from Ian Norris that capped off an 11-3 run. The Longhorns led 31-23 with 22 seconds to go in the game.
Cross scored a game high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Longhorns. Morefield added seven points, three steals and a game high 13 rebounds. Stacy Greer tossed in four points to aid his 10 rebounds. Norris tallied the other three.
Blake Young led the junior high Warriors with 10 points. Eli Ayers and Andrew Little scored seven and six points respectively.
The Longhorns will play another big conference game when they host Cloudland at home on Thursday.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.