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Lady Longhorns eliminate Holston

JCMS’ Desirea Robinson (13) puts up 2 of her 15 points on a break away. The Lady Longhorns run past the Eagles 36-26 Saturday at the Mountain 7 District Tournament. Photo by Joey Icenhour

Johnson County 36, Holston 26

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

BLOUNTVILLE—For JCMS head coach Sarah Swift Jennings it was a first in her three-year head coaching stint. For No.2 seed Holston it was a sad way to end the season minus four starters due to the COVID quarantine. The Longhorns made the most of their opportunity and won a hard-fought 36-26 contest on Saturday at Sullivan Central High School in the first round of the Mountain 7 District junior high basketball tournament.

Needing someone to step up, the Horns got it from point guard Desirea Robinson who accounted for all their offense. She ended the game with 15 points but, more importantly, seven assists, many after breaking the press and dishing off nice passes for layups. 

“Desirea played a big-time game for us,” said Swift about her point guard. “She made some great passes and hit here layups.”

She set the tone for the game with eight first-quarter points that allowed them to lead 12-5 after one by continuously breaking Holston’s press while attacking the basket. Emma Eller had four points on a put back and one nice pass from Robinson. The Longhorns went ice cold in the second quarter by scoring only four points and hit only 1 of 11 from the field. A strong defensive effort helped them maintain a 16-9 advantage going into the third quarter.In the third quarter, Johnson County got a couple of jumpers by Robinson that pushed their lead out to 20-11. 

Robinson’s steal and layup in the final seconds gave Johnson County a 24-17 lead heading into the last period. The Longhorns didn’t set on the lead but kept attacking Holston’s full-court press in the final stanza. Sarah Johnson stepped up big with four points, and Robinson broke the press with a full count layup that sealed the deal for Johnson County Middle.

In addition to Robinson’s 15, Johnson added five, as did Shay Silco and Savanna Dowell. Robinson was happy with her team’s win.

“I just can’t explain how good it feels to win,” said Robinson. “I pushed myself as hard as I could the whole game because I knew we had to step up or go home. This win makes it tall worthwhile. That’s all that matters to us.”

The Longhorns will play No. 3 Church Hill at 8:30 on Monday at Sullivan Central High School. Both the girls and boys qualified for the Regional tournament.