By Tim Chambers
Johnson County’s quest to climb the ladder in conference play continued on Tuesday night against Sullivan Central. The Longhorns dominated the contest from start to finish winning 69-49 before a large crowd inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
The Longhorns jumped on top 14-2 after one quarter of play and didn’t look back from there. Their halftime advantage was 33-14.
Bud Icenhour provided 11 first half points to aid the even dozen scored by Blake Atwood.
“We got off to a good start,” said head coach Austin Atwood. “We shot the ball well, and did a great job defensively on their leading scorer Jordan Self. I thought we rebounded well and didn’t allow very many second chance points. We didn’t do that over there against them.”
Johnson County turned it up another notch in the third quarter as Icenhour and Atwood combined for 13 points. Zack Eller helped the cause with four points and a pair of steals.
Atwood’s three-point play and baskets by Troy Arnold and Eller late in the quarter upped the advantage at 57-29 after three.
Central scored to open the fourth quarter but deuces from Eller and Jordan Edes would spark an 8-2 run and give the Horns a 65-32 lead with 5:57 remaining in the game. Reserves finished the game at that point.
Blake Atwood had a big night scoring 23 points and handing out seven assists. Icenhour added 17 points hitting five treys. Edes provided a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds. Eller was a steady force with nine points and three steals.
Ben Williams scored 22 points for the Cougars with 15 coming in the fourth quarter.
Sullivan Central 52
Johnson County 45
The Lady Longhorns dropped a hard fought 52-45 game to the first place Lady Cougars on Tuesday night inside of Ran Shoun Gymnasium.
The Horns played close the entire way and got within six on Taylor Parsons’ basket with 6:10 remaining.
Johnson County had four chances to carve into the deficit but turned it over twice and misfired on a couple of ill-advised shots. It was disappointing to watch according to head coach Leon Tolley.
“We just can’t seem to get out of own way,” said Tolley. It’s hard enough to be the team in orange but the team in maroon and white won’t get out of our way. We missed a layup, two free throws and turned it over twice at a time in the game where we’re right back in it. We make senseless turnovers. Forced turnovers I can take but unforced stops your momentum.
Central is leading the conference and they’ve been beating everybody bad. The good thing is that our girls are not afraid of them and they played well and stayed in the game. I would like to play them again. We did some good things but we just have to value the basketball more than we’ve been doing. That’s out biggest issue right now.”
The Lady Cougars would hang on behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from sophomore center Abbey Crawford.
Adrian Hall had the hot hand for Johnson County scoring 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting including three treys. Courtney Brooks added 13 points with eight coming in the final quarter. Taylor Parsons chipped in with seven points and seven rebounds. Sadie Stout provided six points and three steals.
The Longhorns trailed by 10 in the first half but fought back to get within three at 22-19 on a pair of treys by Hall. Central closed the half on an 8-3 run to lead 30-22 at the intermission.
They whittled it down to five late in the game but never could surge into the lead.
Boys Game Box
Johnson County 69, Sullivan Central 49
JOHNSON CO. (69)
Atwood 23, Icenhour 17, Edes 11, Eller 9, N Arnold 0, T. Arnold 6, Phillips 3, Reece 0
SULLIVAN CENTRAL (49)
Williams 22, Dunn 9, Self 4, Sanders 2, Crabtree 2, Long 4, Bradley 4, Harrison 2
Johnson County 14 19 21 12 — 69
Sullivan Central 2 12 15 20 — 49
3-point goals—JC 9 (Icenhour 5, Atwood 2, Eller 1, Phillips 1) SC 2 (Williams 2, Dunn 1)
Girls Game Box
Sullivan Central 52, Johnson County 45
JOHNSON CO. (45)
Hall 13, C. Brooks 13, Parsons 7, Stout 6, Miller 4, Winters 2, Cox 0, Kleine 0, Cornett 0
SULLVAN CENTRAL (52)
Crawford 18, Sams 14, Sanders 10, Leming 8, Robinett 2
Johnson County 7 15 9 14 — 45
Sullivan Central 11 19 10 12 — 52
3-point goals—JC 6 (Hall 3, C. Brooks 2, Stout 1) SC 5 (Sams 3, Leming 2)