November 7, 2018
By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
A sizeable home crowd turned out on Thursday to watch JCMS play its basketball season opener, and they didn’t go home disappointed. The Junior High Longhorns played well in their 44-33 win over Jonesborough Middle School in a game where they dominated the second and third quarters. Head coach Devin Shaw liked what he saw out of his squad despite their lack of varsity experience. The Tigers had beaten them earlier this summer at camp.
“We lost to them at the ETSU summer camp by six, so our kids knew they had to play well,” said Shaw. “We felt like the toughest team would win, so it was important that we be the aggressor. We don’t have much size, so this team has to be scrappy on defense and offense. We went to our 3-2 defense and got a lot of hands on some loose balls. We scored a bunch of points off the break because we got after it on defense. That’s how we have to do it this year to have a chance at winning.”
The Tigers stayed in the game with a pair of treys in the first quarter but couldn’t defend the hot shooting of Peyton Pavusek. He ended the quarter with four straight points to put them in front at 12-10. Christian Lipford added a late hoop giving the Horns a 14-10 advantage heading into the second. The Longhorns would build a double-digit advantage with 3:06 showing before halftime. Lipford had the hot hand scoring a half dozen points in the frame while Chris Grill added a basket that upped the ante to 10. The Horns led 27-14 at halftime thanks to a runner from Pavusek and two free throws by Nick Speed.
JCMS came out hotter than a fired cheap pistol to start the third stanza. Graham Reece fed Lipford with a nice pass for a basket while Connor Simcox worked the inside for deuce. Buckets by Speed and Grill gave the Horns a comfortable 37-18 advantage heading into the fourth. Shaw emptied his bench in the final frame only to see the Tigers reel-off ten straight points and get within 10. Lipford and Pavusek reentered the game and converted a basket each to stop the bleeding. The duo would factor heavily in the win.
Lipford scored a game-high 16 points while Pavusek added 13 points and seven rebounds. Grill finished with seven points and five rebounds. Speed provided five points and five boards. Reece played a solid floor game and finished with three assists and a steal. The Longhorns (1-0) will travel to Cloudland on Friday for their next contest.
Johnson County 31
Dalton Pope fired in nine points while James Potter and Conner Simcox added six points each in their 13 point win over the Tigers. Tyler Santz had a pair of baskets. George Grill and Ethan Reece talked three points apiece.
J-Boro 10 4 4 13 –33
JCMS 13 13 10 7 –44
Lipford 16, Pavusek 13, Grill 7, Speed 5, Reece 1, Simcox 2.