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Junior 'Horns split pair with Hampton Bulldogs

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

Johnson County’s journey back across the Butler Bridge proved to be a happy one on Thursday for the boys’ middle school basketball team. Zach Eller blistered the nets for 19 points helping the ‘Horns knock off Hampton 40-31.
It was the first conference win of the season for head coach Lisa Arnold’s squad. She agreed it was great finally getting over the hump after being perfect in their non-conference schedule.
“We’re very happy to come down here and knock off Hampton,” said Arnold. “Zach had a great game and we had a lot of balance after that. We lost the lead we had early but our kids regrouped and pulled it out. They knew we had to have this one.”
 Johnson County led 8-5 after one and had extended it to 21-12 at the half.
 But the Bulldogs got hot and begin to whittle away getting within four at the midway mark of the third.
Free-throw shooting would play a big part in the game especially down the stretch.
 Eller hit 5-of-7 late that put the ‹Horns back up by 10 with 1:13 remaining in the contest.
 “We›ve spent some time on our free throw shooting,” added Arnold. “I make them shoot 50 per day. Several work a lot on their own.”
 Hampton›s youth showed at times, but they also showed a lot of talent from the sixth and seventh grade class. Jordan Bentley fired in 12 points and Jonah Jones added points and three assists. Matthew Hughes chipped in with six.
 “We had some good looks at the basket but couldn›t our hit shots,” said Hampton›s head coach Dewayne Humphrey. “But I thought out kids came out and played hard.”
 The Longhorns got some good play for a trio of players.
 Mason Stanley stepped up to score eight points. Jayden Joiner added seven and Gavin Reece provided five. Troy Arnold grabbed eight rebounds to lead the team in that department. Weston Throop was next with six.
 Johnson County was slated to play Cloudland at home on Monday.
Hampton 36
Johnson County 14
The Lady Bulldogs forged to a 13-2 first quarter lead and never looked back in this one.
A pair of treys to open the game by Whitney Isaacs put Hampton in front to say.
Destiny Cole scored 14 of Johnson County’s 16 total. Lindsey Wills had the other two.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.