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Lady Longhorns corral Blue Devils

JC’s Natalie Winters (12) hit a pair of foul shots in overtime to put JC in front to stay and win the game. Winters finished with five points, five rebounds and five assists in their 59-52 overtime win over Unicoi. Photos by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

ERWIN—For the second year in a row, the Lady Longhorns made the Blue Devil Den their home away from home by pulling off a shocking win over Unicoi County. They dealt the Lady Blue Devils their fourth loss in a row on Friday with a 59-52 overtime victory only their second win over UC in nearly two decades. The first was last year’s 56-44 victory. The Lady Longhorns had lost seven straight conference games dating back to last season before Friday’s win, which was much needed according to their head coach Leon Tolley.

“The biggest thing I was proud of is when Unicoi came back and took the lead in overtime we had every reason to quit and feel sorry for ourselves, but we didn’t. We buckled down on defense, and they didn’t score again. I believe we outscored them 9-0 over that span. It was a good win one that we desperately needed.”

Johnson County held two double-digit leads of 13 points in the second half, but the Lady Devils would rally to tie the score. Laurel Osborne’s basket with 34 seconds remaining would send the game into the first overtime period.  Johnson County put the game away in the second overtime period on a pair of free throws by Natalie Winters that broke a tie game with 2:42 remaining. The Lady Longhorns would shoot 6-of-8 from the line in the second overtime period with as junior post player Emmy Miller converted on 4-of-6 from eh charity stripe.

The Longhorns (12-7, 1-5) were led by junior Sadie Stout, who fired in 22 points that included six shots from behind the three-point arc. Taylor Cox had a big night collecting 14 points and five steals. Emmy Miller was 4 of 6 in overtime and finished with seven points. She and Taylor Parsons led the team in rebounding with nine apiece. Natalie Winters had five rebounds and five assists in addition to her two big free throws. Johnson County will travel to Sullivan South on Tuesday to play the Lady Rebels. Unicoi will be at home to take on Happy Valley. Next for Unicoi County (12-9, 2-4) is a home contest with Happy Valley Tuesday. Johnson County has a trip to Sullivan South.

JCHS 6 20 18 7 8 –59
UCHS 6 13 15 16 2 –52

JCHS (59)
Stout 22, Cox 14, Miller 7, Parsons 7 Winters 4, Cornett 5, Kleine 0, Icenhour 0.

UNICOI Co. (52)
Edney 2, Podvin 18, Holt 12, Street 2, Osborne 8, Lance 10