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Lady 'Horns lose two games; win third in tournament action

The first round of the 2011 Johnson City Honda Christmas Tournament was held at Daniel Boone High School, and pitted the Johnson County Lady Longhorns against the Meigs County Lady Tigers in the last game of the day. Facing off against a team they knew little about, the Lady Longhorns put up a valiant fight but were ultimately defeated by a storm of successful Meigs County three-pointers. With 13 in all, nearly two thirds of the team’s final 60 point score came from the long range baskets.
According to Coach Todd Whittemore, “They can shoot the three very good. We tried to get on the shooters but we just didn’t do a very good job.” In the first quarter alone the Lady Tigers made four three-point shots, giving them an early lead that left Johnson County reeling. Sarah Swift made the first basket for Johnson County very early in the game but then went several minutes without any other gains. Following a shot from Brandy Dugger with five minutes on the clock, the Lady Longhorns went into another dry spell that lasted the remainder of the quarter, making exception for a last second foul shot from Brionna Reece.
Netting foul shots proved to be one of the Lady Longhorns biggest problems throughout the game, though not for lack of opportunities. “We played hard,” said Whittemore, “but we only had about 14 of 28 from the free throw line again. It’s embarrassing. I mean with free throws nobody is guarding you. It’s inexcusable. You can’t beat anybody making 14 of 28 from the free throw line.”
Yet, despite the problems they faced in the first quarter the Lady Longhorns put up a memorable fight going into the second quarter, starting off with only five points on the board and ending the first half with 23. In addition to the most successful run of free throws Johnson County would have in the game, several points were picked up following drives by Mary Taylor, Sarah Swift, Brooke Brown, and a hook shot from starter Brandy Dugger.
Unfortunately, despite Johnson County’s improved performance, the Lady Tigers didn’t back down and continued landing a series of long range baskets. According to Dugger, “We needed to watch number 21 for her threes. I think we believed we could come back and beat them, but then we just weren’t able. We’ve got to work on our foul shots, bad. I thought we were doing well with them at first and then I don’t know what happened.”
Meigs County had jumped up to 40 by the half and continued their climb on into the third quarter. For the Lady Longhorns the game took another turn for the worse, as a strong Lady Tiger defense kept Johnson County away from the scoreboard. An initial bucket by Sarah Swift, along with another from Mary Taylor midway through the period, were the only shots to make it successfully past the girls from Meigs County.
Going into the fourth Johnson County was down 30-60, but even then did not give up, with several well timed plays putting up points from Brionna Reece, Brooke Brown, Brandy Dugger, and Mary Taylor. The final score came down to a disappointing but hard earned 41- 69.
Commenting after the game Whittemore stated, “The good thing is we get a chance to come back here tomorrow. I like this gym; I think we can play in it, but that team was just a little better than us. Let’s hope tomorrow Crockett isn’t.”

Final Scores:
Brooke Brown 13
Sarah Swift 8
Brandy Dugger 7
Mary Taylor 6
Brionna Reece 4
Chelsea McCulloch 3

FOR BREAKDOWN OF OTHER TWO GAMES (against David Crockett & University High), PICK UP A COPY OF THIS WEEK'S TOMAHAWK on newsstands January 4th