By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Cloudland gave a Morris the cat like performance on Saturday but their Nine Lives finally ran out against Johnson County. The freshmen Longhorns ran their season record to 8-1 with a 51-44 win inside of Sonny Smith Gymnasium in Roan Mountain.
The Longhorns started fast out of the gate building an early seven-point lead on a three-point play by Blake Atwood.
Atwood scored eight points in the quarter. Iain Tester, Zack Eller and Mason Stanley would also provide baskets. Blair scored half of Cloudlands dozen points. The Longhorns led 18-12 after one.
Both teams had shooting woes during the second stanza.
Atwood scored six of Johnson Countys eight points. Jonathan Leeper had all five points for the Highlanders.
They extended their halftime lead at 26-17 on a late bucket from Stanley.
The two-guard tandem of Atwood and Eller paid huge dividends in the third quarter, but so did the defensive play of Gavin Reece who collected a trio of steals that led to six points.
Atwood and Eller provided two baskets each and Tester got another on a nice shot off the glass.
They led 36-22 going into the fourth and appeared headed for an easy win. But that would not be the case.
Blair played the manchild for the Highlanders in the final stanza.
In addition to his 12 points scored in the quarter, he also ripped off six boards.
Tester offset some of the damage by scoring six Johnson County points. His three-point play with 40 seconds remaining would push the Longhorns lead back to 10.
Eller and Atwood made key free throws down the stretch to salt the game away.
Atwood scored a game high 22 points for the Longhorns. Eller added 10 points, four rebounds and a steal. Tester provided 12 points and seven boards on the inside. Reece had five steals and four rebounds to factor as well.
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