By: TIm Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County gave Three Rivers Conference leader Sullivan South all it wanted and then some on Tuesday but came up short in the end. The much taller Rebels outlasted them 58-47 before a large crowd inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
Souths back line featured two players 65 and another one 64. That was a key a factor according to Johnson Countys head coach Austin Atwood.
Their size and length hurt us at crucial times during the game, said Atwood. We made a couple of runs and got close but then they would get a rebound or a putback. They got two there late in the game after we had closed it to five. Souths a good basketball team.
The Horns battled their butts off to lead 11-9 after the first quarter.
Chase Phillips and Jose Guzman had five points apiece and they kept close during the second quarter.
A long three-ball by Guzman made it 14-9 but South begin chipping away at the deficit.
Christian Comsa scored four points in the paint while Garrett Bowery, Colton Young and Josh Booker added a basket each.
The Longhorns got a late bucket from Caleb Throop but trailed by a slim 21-19 margin at the half.
It was Johnson Countys poor shooting that got them behind the eight-ball during the third quarter.
They managed only five free throws and a field goal by Phillips. South outscored them 16-7 to take a 37-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
What appeared to be an easy win from there turned out to be a dogfight down the stretch run.
Five points by Phillips and a Guzman runner pulled them within seven at 37-30.
And it shrunk to five after Phillips connected on another pair of treys with 4:37 remaining.
But a couple of stickbacks off missed shots would allow South to extend their lead back to nine.
We played our tails off but you have to keep them off the board, added Atwood. We had a chance there to get it within two or three but couldnt. I cant fault the effort because Souths a good basketball team. They present some tough matchups because we cant size up with them.
Phillips had a phenomenal game scoring 26 points and grabbing a whopping 19 rebounds. Guzman tallied 11 and Bud Icenhour contributed seven.
South got 13 points from Young and 10 by Booker. Their well-balanced attack would include nine Rebels scoring.
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