By Tim Chambers
Johnson County’s sputtering offense suddenly got kicked into overdrive against Holston late in the first quarter. The Lady Longhorns overcame a sluggish start to defeat their neighboring rival 66-37 on Monday night inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
Taylor Cox and Sadie Stout combined for 51 points with Cox amassing a career-high 34. She gave credit to her supporting cast for helping her achieve her milestone.
“I owe it all to my teammates because I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Cox. “They were passing the ball well, and I was taking the open shot. They were getting me the ball in a position where I could score. I got a lot of good looks at the basket.”
Slow start erased quickly
The Lady Horns found themselves down 9-2 at the 5:00 mark thanks to the red-hot shooting of Holston’s Liyah French. The junior guard scored 11 first-quarter points including nine from behind the three-point arc.
That didn’t sit well with Lady Longhorns’ head coach Leon Tolley.
“This was your typical snow day ballgame,” said Tolley. “It’s good and bad, and the bad is we didn’t come out ready to play. Everything we worked on we seems to do the opposite. The good is we responded and the third quarter was as good as we’ve played all year. We were sharing the ball on both ends of the floor and hitting the open person. Players were ready to shoot, and it gets contagious when you make shots. We’re going to enjoy this win tonight, but we’ve got three tough games this week starting with South on Tuesday.”
Holston had no answer once Cox got going. She matched French with an 11 points output in the first quarter and had 19 by intermission.
The Longhorns got three consecutive buckets from Taylor Parsons, Natalie Winters and Emmy Miller that led to a 30-16-halftime advantage.
They continued to pour it on in the third.
Stout lights it up, and Cox remains hot
The Lady Cavs got hit with a bombshell to start the third period. Cox continued to shoot the ball well, but Stout added insult to injury.
She connected on two long treys in the third quarter and two more to start the fourth. The sophomore guard tallied 14 second-half points.
“I spent two hours each day over the weekend working on my shot,” said Stout. “I needed to get my shot back down and start being a threat like I was when the season started. Tonight I was able to do that.”
The Longhorns built the lead to 20 on back-to-back treys by Cox and Stout in the third.
The lead reached 30 on a basket by Hazlee Kleine midway through the fourth quarter. Tolley emptied his bench from there.
Emmy Miller and Cox gathered nine rebounds apiece, and Parsons added seven as the Horns outrebounded Holston 34-23.
Winters scored five points and dished out six assists, all to Cox and
Stout. Abby Lipford closed out the scoring with a late field goal.
French led the Lady Cavs with 22 points. Claudia Frost and Lexie Lane provided six each.
Johnson County 37
Raven Turen broke a 35 all tie with two free throws with 16 seconds remaining helping Johnson County earn the two-point victory. Abby Lipford blocked game-tying shot attempt to preserve the win.
Macey Luckett and Rhiannon Icenhour led the Longhorns with 11 points each. Turen had five while Jacey Eshelman and Lipford scored four apiece. Sydni Potter closed out the scoring with two.
Katie Lawson scored a game-high 17 points to lead Holston.
Holston 12 4 16 5 -37
Johnson Co. 13 17 16 15 -66
3-point goals—Holston 5 (French 5) JC 9 (Stout 5, Cox 4)