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Lady Longhorns lose in strange circumstances against Unaka

By Matt Hill

In the Lady Longhorns narrow 52-45 defeat to Unaka Monday night, there was a stat line that JCHS head coach Stacey Reece noted right off the bat.
“There is no way a high school basketball team plays a whole game and does not foul in an entire half,” she said. “There is no way that happens.”
The Unaka Lady Rangers were not called for a single foul in the second half and only had four fouls called on them the entire game.
“If we had been a little more aggressive taking it to the basket I think we would have gotten some fouls called,” Reece said. “We weren’t quite as aggressive as I wanted them to be.”
Still, Reece was in shock that the whistle did not blow one time.
“That’s crazy,” she said. “I’ve never been through a game like that.”
Reece did appreciate the continued strong effort by her team.
“We were playing hard,” she said. “We played hard defense and had a lot of deflections, but we couldn’t get to the line. If we had gotten to the line we would have won.”
For the third game in a row, JCHS jumped out to a good start, leading 12-7 after the first quarter and it was tied 21-21 at halftime.
The Lady Rangers jumped out to a 36-30 advantage in the third quarter and led by as many as ten in the fourth.
“We don’t know how to finish,” Reece said. “We haven’t been in a position to win so when it happens they play nervous and all heck breaks loose.”
SCORING: Lindsey Campbell 18, Mandy Hill 10, Rebecca Royston 8, Lora Morefield 4, Amber Sexton 3, Chevy Leonard 2
Friday’s Game
Happy Valley 54
The Lady Longhorns started off red-hot, but the Lady Warriors took control in the second half.
JCHS jumped out to a 12-4 lead on two three pointers from Mandy Hill.
After the beginning run, the Lady Warriors outscored JCHS 50-20 the rest of the way.
“We’ve been preaching effort and I thought we had 100 percent effort,” JCHS head coach Stacey Reece said. “We were tired and played man-to-man the whole game. Our shots were short, but I was proud. I think after the first game we had with them Happy Valley was shocked with the intensity we came out with. I thought we played hard and that’s all we can ask for.
Hill’s effort was noticed strongly by Reece.
“When she hits she’ll hit several in a row and I always give Mandy the green light to shoot,” Reece said. “She played a heck of a game.”
Despite the loss, Reece felt her team gave it a good shot.
“We knew coming in this was going to be a hard season and we knew we were in a tough spot,” she said. “All I ask is for them to play as hard as we can and I felt we did that.”
SCORING: Mandy Hill 11, Lindsey Campbell 8, Rebecca Royston 8, Andrea Eller 2, Amber Sexton 2, Chevy Leonard 1.
Last Tuesday’s Game
Cloudland 52
The Lady Longhorns once again started strong, but struggled in the second half.
After being down only six at halftime, the Lady Longhorns were outscored 29-12 in the final 16 minutes.
“I was tickled too death with the first half and we were where we wanted to be, but we came out flat and turned the ball over three times in the last 45 seconds. You can’t win doing that.”
SCORING: Lindsey Campbell 9, Mandy Hill 7, Chevy Leonard 4, Amber Sexton 4, Andrea Eller 3, Rebecca Royston 2
JV Report
The Lady Longhorns played one of their best games of the season Monday afternoon in a 45-42 victory over Unaka at Shoun Gym.
JCHS was led by the backcourt play of Lora Morefield and Chevy Leonard, who combined for 33 points.
“The girls thought some unfair things were happening on the floor and they used it to their advantage,” JCHS Junior Varsity Coach Angela Blevins said. “They stepped up and said we’re not going to let anything dictate what happens in this game other than what’s we can do about. They did play inspired. It was just a fabulous game from everyone.”

Blevins was especially pleased with the guard play.

“That’s what we’ve been waiting on all year,” she said. “Lora Morefield is our player of the day. All year I’ve been on her to start playing like a point guard and it is one of the toughest positions of the floor because the coach is always on you, and today she finally stepped and did what she needed to do and did what we’ve been looking for all year. That was very promising.

SCORING: Lora Morefield 17, Chevy Leonard 16, Andrea Eller 7, Kristin Roark 3, Chelsea McCullouch 2.