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Longhorns need to play like ‘Gangbusters’

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

The Johnson County boys’ basketball team has been known to come on like “gangbusters” during the last month of each basketball season in past years. This time it needs to be sooner than later.
The Longhorns dropped three games at the Hardees Classic in a tournament where they could have come away with two wins. That’s not to take anything away from Hampton or Volunteer.
The Bulldogs were playing with mainly its junior varsity players while the Longhorns appeared more athletic and talented than the Falcons.
They jumped on top in both games only to watch their leads evaporate quickly. It wasn’t just lack of defense or missed shots that plagued them. The bounce in their step wasn’t there.
Their shot selection was questionable in both losses. Many came quick and others off-balanced. The art of squaring up, elevating and keeping your elbow straight was a lost art. And a two-footed jump stop was nowhere to be found.
To make matters worse they were often flatfooted on defense and got outrebounded in both losses.
They lacked confidence for a team returning four starters and lots of experience. Are all the above fixable?
You bet they are but this is not a coaching thing.
It’s going to take some toughness and leadership from the senior players to get the problem corrected. The rest of the team must follow suit.
Many football players got a late start due to making the first round of the playoffs. Toughness is the one thing they should have brought with them onto the hardwood. Because now they need it more than ever and here’s why.
The Longhorns will play at Elizabethton on Friday. They’ll be at Hampton on Tuesday and at home against Happy Valley on Friday the following week. Two are important conference games. The other is against your biggest rival who will have a ton of confidence going into the game because of their victory at the Hardees.
The remedy is as simple as they must want to get back in the win column.
They’ll need to go out and play like “gangbusters.”

 2nd Annual All Tri-County Football Team
The Tomahawk’s second All Tri-County football team will run in Wednesday’s December 23rd edition of The Tomahawk.  The team will be made up of players from seven schools in Johnson, Carter and Unicoi counties.
This year’s squad will be highlighted by Player of the Year and our Most Promising Underclassman. We will also select an MVP on offense and defense in addition to Coach of the Year.
Tim Chambers is the sports editor at The Tomahawk. You can reach him at [email protected]  Leave your telephone number if you need to speak with him.