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Longhorns fall to Sullivan East

With Sullivan East not having reigning Three Rivers Player-of-the-Year Jordan Cross, the JCHS Boys Basketball Team had a golden opportunity to steal a win.
However, the Longhorns fell apart in the second half and the victory did not take place.
The Longhorns were tied at 31-31 at halftime following a halfcourt make by Sammy Hampton, but the Patriots scored 36 points in the second half to win 67-56 over JCHS at the Patriot Palace Friday night.
The loss put JCHS 0-2 in the Three Rivers Conference and ended a difficult 0-3 week for the Longhorns.
Cross tore his ACL earlier in the year, opening the door for teams like JCHS. East showed they still have what it takes to be competitive and the Longhorns after a strong start struggled on defense in the second half.
“We’re still waiting to jell as a team,” JCHS head coach Austin Atwood said. “I think we will do it. We’re a work in progress. Jason is playing the best basketball of his career, we need to get better guard play.”
The Longhorns came out attacking and led most of the first half until a late first half run gave East a 31-28 lead.
Hampton quickly quieted a very hostile Sullivan East student section with a big halfcourt shot that ended the half to tie the game.
The second half was all Patriots and East continued to build its advantage.
A 17-7 spurt gave the Patriots a 60-48 lead and pretty much the win.
Atwood is not worried about the hole JCHS has dug itself into.
“Three possibly four losses could win this thing,” Atwood said.
Scoring: Sammy Hampton 13, Jason Steele 22, Cody Brown 12, Dusty Stout 2, Quinton Wright 3, Austin Humphrey 4.
Last Tuesday’s Game
Sullivan North 71
JCHS 65
Despite a career high from Jason Steele, the Longhorns were unable to dethrone the Raiders.
The Milligan signee finished with 37 points and double digit rebounds. His point total was the most by a Longhorn player since Matt Cornett scored 43 against Sullivan Central in a home game in Dec. 2001.
Atwood emphasized that Steele’s outburst was to help the team win and not for his own personal glory.
“Jason did his part,” Atwood said. “We didn’t handle the press very well and we panicked at times. North is pretty good and Dylan Price hit five threes. Bottom line we didn’t defend. Our man-to-man defense was sub-par and we didn’t locate the shooters. We’re have to keep teams in the low 50s. That’s a hard team to defend.
“Jason got 37 points because he was banging and playing inside. There was no selfish play and that’s good. A man worries about that as a coach, but tonight he didn’t do one selfish thing offensively. He took the shots we was supposed to take.”
The Raiders had three guys who were hard to stop as Dylan Price had 15, K. Thompson scored 16 and Chase Arnold had 17.
The Raiders hit nine threes on the night.
Steele’s NBA desperation three went in late to cut North’s advantage to 65-62 and a three by Sammy Hampton sliced North’s edge to 67-65.
North hit big free throws at the end and won the game by six.
Scoring: Jason Steele 37, Sammy Hampton 12, Quinton Wright 9, Austin Humphrey 6, Cody Brown 1.
Thursday’s Game
Cloudland 92
JCHS 63
The Highlanders used a relentless full court press to cause havoc all night for the Longhorns and win going away.
Cloudland, under first-year head coach Brandon Carpenter, has asserted itself as one of the top teams in the region in any classification.
Cloudland raced out to 23-3 lead and never looked back.
Matthew Potter and Zac Potter combined for 50 of the ‘Landers 92 points.
JCHS Scoring: Jason Steele 22, Sammy Hampton 18, Chase Kleine 2, Cody Brown 2, Dusty Stout 3, Quinton Wright 8, Jason Dugger 6, Austin Humphrey 2.
Tuesday’s Game with Unaka was postponed due to the winter storm. At press time, JCHS was scheduled to play Tri-Cities Christian at home Thursday. The Longhorns will be in a tournament in Ackworth, Ga. Dec. 28 through Dec. 30.