By Beth Cox
Johnson County High School’s Atwood Court was as heated as grandma’s wood stove.
The Unaka Rangers traveled to Johnson County for an intense battle until the very end. The first quarter was a bit on the sloppy
side, with nothing really
happening for either team except fouls that were
definitely happening quite a bit.
The Longhorns were only able to get eight points in
the first quarter trailing Unaka by five points, mainly because the Rangers were getting their shots from
the foul line and Joseph Slagle knocking down back to back threes to end the quarter.
Both teams were simply taking turns at the foul line in the second quarter. Granted, the Rangers had mastered the art of getting defensive fouls against the Longhorns. Johnson County put the Rangers at the foul line 12 times in the first half. However, the Horns made all their points in the second quarter at the foul line, with Zack Parsons putting away four, followed by Preston Greer and Dalton Robinson with two each. The first half ended with Unaka ahead 16-24.
It was a frustrating first half for the Longhorns, they just couldn’t get anything inside the paint, but they perfected adding up fouls. Coach Austin Atwood put Preston Greer in the second quarter, he woke the team up a little, but he also ended the second quarter with three fouls.
Zack Parsons’s shots at
the foul line gave the Longhorns a 16-15 lead. It
was short-lived, mainly
once again, fouls. It seemed the Longhorns got more charges than Trump’s credit card.
The third quarter can only be called the “Great Greer awakening.” Number 22 was everywhere and hitting everything. Greer had two points in the first half but added 12 points from behind the arc in the third quarter and was five for five at the foul line. The Longhorns owned the third quarter and had an 11-point lead on the Rangers. Atwood got a technical foul called on him, but the Rangers’ shots were no good. With 3:23 on the
clock, Unaka’s Denn
Ramsey returns the technical foul favor, with Greer shooting giving the Longhorns the lead. Going into the fourth quarter, the Longhorns lead 43-37.
The fourth quarter was at a fast pace. Both teams fighting hard for the win. The Longhorns got sloppy and kept fouling. They couldn’t keep the lead, especially at the end with fouls and turnover. Unaka skimmed ahead at the end with a 54-58 win. Greer had 28 for the night, Parsons with 13, Dalton Robinson had seven, and Peyton Pavusek and Connor Simcox with two.