November 21, 2018
By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County took care of business in their opening game to start the 2018-2019 basketball season but let one slip away in the nightcap. The Lady Longhorns defeated David Crockett 60-45 in their first game but fell to Volunteer 46-43 in the nightcap.
Johnson County 60
David Crockett 45
The Lady Longhorns started the night on a high note with an impressive showing against Crockett. Their shot selection in the first half was excellent, and their defense held the Lady Pioneers scoreless for the first five minutes of the game. Sadie Stout had a long three, and Emmy Miller converted a three-point play that sparked a 10-0 run capped off by Taylor Cox’s runner. The Longhorns led 12-3 after one and continued to step it up in the second quarter. Natalie Winters tossed in four quick points, and Taylor Parsons added a jumper that increased their advantage at 15. Stout made sure the lead stayed in tack by knocking down a pair of treys in the frame.
The Lady Longhorns led 27-12 at the half.
“We played well there early, but we backed down in the third quarter when they started getting after us,” said Lady Longhorns’ head coach Leon Tolley. “Until we start showing teams that we can take care of the basketball then pressure defense is all we will see.”
The Lady Horns were outscored 16-10 in the third and turned the ball over four times that led to Crockett points. They stopped the bleeding in the fourth quarter with a 23-point outburst. A lot of their damage was done at the foul line. Winters sank 4-of-5 charity tosses. Cox and Stout added a pair each. Parsons put the Horns back up 53-32 late in the game with a put-back, but the Lady Pioneers closed the final three minutes on a 13-7 run to make the score more respectable. The Lady Longhorns placed four players in double figures. Stout led the way with 15 points. Miller stepped up big with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Winters cashed in with 11 points and five assists. Cox contributed 12 points and three steals. The Longhorns got a stellar performance from Parsons who tallied seven points, ten rebounds, and six blocked shots.
Mackenzie Baldwin and Emma Gouge were the only Lady Pioneers in double figures with 11 and 10 points.
Johnson County 43
The Lady Longhorns appeared to be headed for a victory after leading Volunteer 35-20 midway through the third quarter. But that’s when the wheels fell off. They were outscored 26-8 over the final 13 minutes of the game that led to Volunteer’s come-from-behind victory. Head coach Leon Tolley didn’t sugarcoat his team’s play during Volunteer’s run. He brushed off fatigue and pointed to the mistakes that cost them what should have been a victory.
“We had a chance to go ahead down by one point and called time,” added Tolley. “We got out there and didn’t run the play, and then we throw it away for a layup. We call timeout again and draw up a play to get a three, and we didn’t run it either. We played like we were 15 points down instead of 15 head when we had the lead. We didn’t play smart at all, and we didn’t value our possessions.”
Tolley went on to say “Our legs were fresher than theirs, so I don’t want to hear fatigue as being our excuse. They played a game at Unicoi County then hopped on the bus to come and play us. They didn’t make any excuses and outplayed us in the second half. This loss is on us. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves.”
Sadie Stout had 12 points for Johnson County while Emmy Miller added 11. Taylor Cox and Natalie Winters added seven and six points. Bryna Minton had a game-high 17 points for the Lady Falcons.
The Longhorns are now 1-1 on the season.