By Tim Chambers
ELIZABETHTON—the middle school Longhorns made the most of their Christmas holiday by winning the Carter County Hall of Fame Classic championship tournament played in Elizabethton this past weekend. The junior high Longhorns edged Hunter 25-23 in the championship game after defeating Unaka and Keenburg upon reaching the finals. The game was a tight-fisted affair the entire way, with neither team being able to muster more than a six-point advantage. That’s when the Horns got a couple of big baskets in the final quarter put the game away.
Dalton Pope converted a big 3-point play that put a little separation between the Horns and Tigers, and Connor Simcox had a considerable putback that pretty much iced the game for the Longhorns. Samuel Greer had a big game for the Horns with 10 points. Baird finished the evening with eight points, while Simcox also finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. James Potter came on strong to score six points. JCMS head coach Mark McClain was pleased with the win.
“It was the first championship of any sort ever won by these kids,” said McClain. “They were pleased, and I was too for them. It’s always good to win a championship of any sort. They did a good job in a very close game because I thought Coach Peters and Hunter did a good job of packing their defense in on Connor. We had a couple of young guys Kyle Sluder and Eli Dickens that stepped up and played well for us. Potter had a good game, and so did Baird and Simcox.”