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Longhorns pummel Unaka Rangers 74-59 last week

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

It would have been quite fitting for “Burning down the House” by Talking Heads to have been played over the PA during the third quarter of Johnson County’s game with Unaka. That’s because the Longhorns caught fire and scored 31 points in the frame to erase a seven-point halftime deficit.
Their 74-59 win looked improbable during the first half of Tuesday’s game inside the “Rangers’ Barn.” But the outstanding guard play of Bud Icenhour was too much for the Creekers to overcome.
The sizzling sophomore ended the night with 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals. That included the five treys he swished during the first half that kept Johnson County in the basketball game.
“My teammates would get it and feed it to me,” said Icenhour.  “I was feeling it all night. I wasn’t thinking about anything except shooting it.  We’ve all spent a lot of time in the gym after practice lately and we’re all getting a good feel for one another. Brandon’s (Vannoy) rebounding has been huge lately because he just finds the open guy and we try and knock the shot down. We like to get in the type of tempo that we did tonight. It gives you a lot more options with your offense.”
The Longhorns led 16-12 after one getting three trifectas from Icenhour and five points off the bench by Sean Lewis.
The Rangers scored 21 points in the second quarter. Nine came at the charity stripe.
Colton Chambers hit six of those and ended the half with 14 points. His output helped Unaka grab a 33-26 lead at the intermission.
That offset the 15 points scored by Icenhour on 5-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point line in the half. But all that would change over the first three minutes of the third quarter.
Not only did Icenhour continue shooting well, the entire team caught fire.
Two more treys from Icenhour and five points by Jose Guzman helped Johnson County take a 42-38 lead near the five-minute mark. Unaka’s last lead came one minute prior on a three-point shot by Kyler Lewis that gave the Rangers a 38-35 advantage.
But they misfired on their next five attempts and Johnson County responded by shooting 6-of-8 from behind the three-point line.
Blake Atwood’s trey capped off a 12-2 run that ended the third period. Johnson County led 57-45 after outscoring the Rangers 31-12 in the frame.
The Longhorns used the charity stripe in the final quarter to stave off any Unaka comeback bid. They connected on 11-of-14 in the frame and 8-of-9 down the stretch.
Guzman provided 15 points and four steals to complement Bud’s output.  Brandon Vannoy’s 17 rebounds was a game high in the department. He also added nine points.
“This is the role that Coach Atwood wants me to play,” said Vannoy. “I’ve always been a pretty good rebounder so I try and crash the boards because it creates a lot of opportunities for us. I definitely like getting on the offensive boards. That just creates a lot more possessions for us.”

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