By Tim Chambers
SPRUCE PINE, NC—In the words of Forest Gump the Lady Longhorns are proving to be like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re getting when they take the floor.
The team that had soundly beaten Unicoi County on Friday fell at Mitchell County 48-39 on Thursday. That appears to be the trend when they win a big game.
They fell to Unaka one game after pulling off a big win against Elizabethton. Thursday was a repeat of that event.
Head coach Leon Tolley didn’t sugarcoat the loss either. He held them all accountable in the defeat.
“I told the girls that Mitchell County wanted it more than we did,” said Tolley. “It was obvious we were somewhere else out on the court when the game started. We could hardly put two trips down the court together without turning it over. This is one of those games you watch the film and then forget it. Right now we can’t handle success, and we’re our own worst enemy. We forget how hard we’ve worked to get here. It’s frustrating because we’re not giving ourselves a chance to win.”
That was the case from the outset.
The Horns scored only seven points in the first quarter but were tied 7-7 after one. That all changed in the second period after Mitchell County went on a 12-0 run.
Shea Lewis swished a pair of treys, and Hannah McMahan had another helping Mitchell outscore the Longhorns 17-7.
The Mountaineers led 24-14 at the break.
Johnson County tried to hang close in the third quarter getting a three-ball by Abby Cornett and two baskets from Sadie Stout to get within six. The Lady Mountaineers would quickly stretch it back to an even dozen by going on a 6-0 run.
The Longhorns trailed 35-24 heading into the final frame.
The Longhorns had trouble scoring in the final frame after cutting the deficit under double digits twice in the final frame.
Each time the Mountaineers would answer and walk off with an 11-point victory.
Stout and Taylor Parsons led the Longhorns with 10 points each. Taylor Cox provided nine points and seven rebounds.
Emmy Miller had eight rebounds to lead the Horns in that department. Parsons cashed in with five.
McMahan and Lewis scored 16 and 13 points respectively for Mitchell.
Johnson Co. 7 7 10 15 –39
Mitchell Co. 7 17 10 14 –48
3-point goals—JC 2 (Cox, Cornett) MC 2 (Lewis 2)
JOHNSON CO. (39)
Parsons 10, Stout 10, Cox 9, Miller 3, Winters 2, Cornett 3, Kleine 2
MITCHELL CO. (48)
McMahan 16, Lewis 13, Cleer 4, Johnson 9, Huskins 2, Pitman 2, Biddex 2.