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Johnson County shocks David Crockett in 65-55 win

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
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Johnson County pulled off a shocker by playing some electrifying basketball against one the area’s premier teams on Wednesday. The Longhorns jolted David Crockett 65-55 on senior night inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium for its third victory in a row over a quality opponent.
The ‘Horns were coming off big league wins over Elizabethton and Unicoi County. But this one might have been the sweetest against a team whose star player is considered to be a major D-1 prospect.
“Our kids are starting to mesh and compete at a high level,” said Johnson County’s head coach Austin Atwood. “I thought we defended them well, especially in the first half and down the stretch. We took care of the basketball and limited our turnovers. We shot well from the foul line and rebounded which I think were probably the two biggest factors in the win.”
The game was tight throughout the first quarter with Johnson County holding a slim 10-9 lead. A three-ball by Chase Phillips and Cody Bailie’s three-point play highlighted a 6-0 run that surged the ‘Horns in front.
“We knew they were good coming in, but we also thought we could beat them as the game went along,” said Phillips. “Jose (Guzman) was knocking down shots and we weren’t giving (Patrick) Good any good looks. This was a big win for our confidence. We want to be playing our best with the District coming up.”
The red-hot shooting of Jose Guzman kept Johnson County in the ball game during the second quarter. Crockett got within one twice but each time Guzman was there to knock down big shots ioah Leonard provided 10.
Atwood was happy with the win but knows a much bigger contest is a week away. He also complemented his young players.
“We got great play out of Jose, Chase and Cody but our freshmen players (Icenhour and Nathan Arnold) are really giving us a lot of good minutes. We’re also getting that same type of play from (Caleb) Throop and Houser. We’ll have a knock-down drag-out contest at Hampton on Friday and our kids want to win, but they know where the biggest game lies. We’re going to have to beat a good Unicoi County team again next week to make the regional. That’s our focus right now. The tournament is what you play for.”

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