By Tim Chambers
Reaching the championship game was a tough task for Johnson County on Saturday, but the determined Longhorns “got ‘er gone” in Larry the Cable Guy fashion. They held off Hampton 29-26 to reach the title game after nearly blowing an11-point lead in the final quarter.
Much of that came due to their inability to make free throws. The Longhorns shot a dismal 7-for-26 from the line, but somehow found a way to win which pleased Head Coach Kechia Eller.
“This was the biggest game that most of these girls had ever played, so I think nerves might have played a factor,” said Eller. “Plus it was Hampton at Hampton and that’s another added dimension. I felt like we kept forcing shots in the fourth quarter that we didn’t need to take and fatigue I think hurt us at the foul line. But we made it to the championship game for the second time in a row so I’m very happy for all the girls.”
The Longhorns used baskets by Emmy Miller and Sadie Stout in the first quarter to build a 6-2 advantage.
Maddie Edington sparked the Horns in the second quarter by tossing in a half dozen. Stout added a three-point play, allowing the Horns to take a 17-6 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs made little noise in the third quarter and trailed 21-11 heading into the final frame. Suddenly they found their offense.
Miller had a deuce and Edington added a three-point play that pushed the lead back to 26-15 with 4:10 remaining.
Hampton got within six on baskets by Bridgette Heaton and Gracie Crumley with 1:59 remaining, but Stout would convert a layup on the other end that pushed it back to eight.
Heaton banked in a three-ball to make things interesting at the end, but the Lady Longhorns were able to survive and advance.
Stout led the Longhorns with 11 points. Edington added eight points and Miller contributed five. Sydni Potter and Rhiannon Icenhour scored a basket each.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.