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Rebels eliminate Lady Horns

JC’s Sadie Stout (23) looks to knock down a shot vs. Unicoi County. Stout had a game-high 23 points, but the Horns lost 58-50. Photos by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

ELIZABETHTON—The will to win was there for the Lady Longhorns, but the legs appeared to fade away after a hard-fought win
the night before against Sullivan East. Johnson County battled Unicoi County the entire way before falling
58-50 in the quarterfinals
of the District 1-AA tournament inside of Bayless
Gymnasium at Happy
Valley High School on Thursday.
It was a hard pill to swallow for the Lady Longhorns who dominated play in the first half from the opening tip. They were once again without the services of their second leading scorer and rebounder Taylor Parsons, and a few of the starters played under the weather.
Fatigue could have been a factor for the team who already were thin on the bench. Head coach Leon Tolley didn’t touch on that factor. He instead pointed a brief stretch in the game where the Lady Blue Devils used some long-range shooting to take the lead.
“I’m tickled to death about the way we played because that’s two nights in a row that we really played well,” said Tolley. “We went through a stretch for about three minutes where we got lost on
defense, and we let them stand there and shoot the three. When they switched to a zone, we missed a few shots and finally got frustrated and a little hesitant, and that’s when they stretched it out. But I couldn’t be any prouder of this basketball team.”
The game was close in the first quarter as Taylor Cox lit up the Blue Devils for 10 points in the frame
while Caroline Podvin
tossed in eight for Unicoi County.
The Blue Devils took a 15-11 lead on Tenley Holt’s runner in the final
30 seconds but Natalie
Winters’ answered by converting a three-point play in the final seconds leaving the Horns trailing 15-14 after one.
The tide turned in the second quarter thanks to the outstanding play by Johnson County’s sophomore duo of Sadie Stout and Emmy Miller. Stout got hot and fired in eight points while Miller collected five points, three rebounds and two blocked shots in the frame.
Johnson County’s defense held the Lady Blue Devils to five points in the quarter and opened up a 27-24 halftime lead.
South rallied in the third and managed to regain the lead after outscoring the Longhorns 17-11 in the
quarter. They took a 41-38 lead going into the final period.
Johnson County tried to regain the momentum after Stout drained a three-ball to tie the game at 41 al, but the Blue Devils would have an answer.
They proceeded to outscore the Horns 11-2 capped off by Kaylee Hendrickson’s three-ball to surge in front 52-43 with 4:03 remaining in the game. That three-minute stretch was the one Tolley was referring to that did them in.
Stout didn’t start the game but recorded a game-high 23 points for the Longhorns. Cox contributed 15 points, and five rebounds and Emmy Miller provided seven points and six boards. Winters tallied five points and three assists, completing the four players to score for the Horns.
That wasn’t the case for Unicoi County who featured a well-balanced scoring attack.
Podvin led the Blue Devils with 15 points while Ashton Vance added 10 points and ten rebounds. Hendrickson and Allee Griffeth gathered nine points apiece while Chloe Powers and Holt added eight and seven points respectively.
Unicoi County had 14 offensive rebounds that accounted for 21-second-chance points.
The Lady Longhorns will return every player on the roster next season. They finished the year at 14-16.

District 1-AA quarterfinals
Unicoi County 58,
Johnson County 50

JOHNSON COUNTY (50)
Stout 23, Cox 15, Miller 7, Winters 5, Cornett 0, Kleine 0, Icenhour 0.

UNICOI COUNTY (58)
Podvin 15, Vance 10, Griffith 9, Hendrickson 9, Holt 7, Powers 8,

JCHS 14 13 11 12 -50
Unicoi C. 19 5 17 17 -58

3-point goals—JC 2 (Stout 2) UC 7 (Podvin 3, Powers 2, Hendrickson 2)