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Lady Horns lack of confidence leads to tough losses

After calling a timeout, Johnson County Lady Longhorns Head Coach Kechia Eller tries to motivate the team
on Tuesday night against Happy Valley. The girls suffered a tough 25-35 loss. Photo by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer


Coach Kechia Eller is the first to say her girls have a lot to work on as a team. One of the most significant factors with the young team is a lack of confidence in themselves.
“Confidence is something we’re working on,” Eller said. “I tell them to stay the course; you will get there.”
The Lady Longhorns have faced some tough losses but are not giving up. Eller believes the Lady Horns will find success with some conference games, “It’s difficult trying to build confidence with these non-conference games, but when they get into conference play, I really believe we’ll be able to see some success and that in turn will build confidence for them.”
The Lady Longhorns have made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season. The big picture for Johnson County is a 0-7 record, but the girls deserve more than a score sheet.
For starters, it is a young team this year, and new key players are coming into the spotlight after losing several starting players over a two-year period.
Peyton Gentry is an excellent point guard, but she has to stay out of foul trouble. Several times Eller has to pull Gentry out early due to her fouls.
Brookanna Hutchins has dominated inside the paint. She is not easily intimidated and never gives up, while Sierra Green is a fighter on the court and a strong defensive player known to put away a couple of three-pointers during some pivotal plays.
Mackenzie Kelly has been driving to the basket more and has done a good job at the foul line. It is nice watching her become more of a strategic player.
This week’s losses have been hard, especially the one against Holston High School, where the girls had the lead until the last three minutes of the game.
Eller contributed the loss to lack of maturity when she said, “Playing with a lead was a new experience, and maturity or lack of, played a part of our loss. We played like we were down by thirty. We rushed the ball and made some bad shots. Hopefully, we learned from this and be more knowledgeable on how to react next time.”
Losses against Cloudland, Johnson County, was going against a talented, more physical team. However, Eller pointed out her team needs to make the easy shots and most definitely be stronger at the foul line.
They have a couple of tough games this week on the road against Elizabethton on Tuesday and Hampton on Friday.