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South holds off gutsy Longhorns 61-53

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

The Johnson County and Sullivan South girls’ game could have been rated
“PG” had it been a movie. That’s because lots of beating and banging was
going on for four quarters.
The Lady Rebels survived the donnybrook affair by knocking off the Lady
Longhorns 61-53 on Friday night inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
It was the second consecutive night that Johnson County had topped the
50-point mark. Head Coach Thomas Wampler knew this was a game that his
team could have won but South’s ability to hit critical free throws down
the stretch headed off the Steers’ surge.

“This game was frustrating because I felt like it was the best game that
we’ve played overall,” said Wampler. “I felt like we were playing well
enough to get the lead but they would hit three or four free throws to
slow down our momentum. We’ve been putting some points on the board for
the past two games but the difference in this one was the defense.”
The Lady Rebels led 14-6 after one but saw the Longhorns come charging back.
Michala Cretsinger fired in 14 first half points allowing Johnson County
to cut the halftime deficit down to 25-20.

Most of South’s production came from their freshman duo of Avery
Hutchins and Mollie Leslie and sophomore Hannah Clark who combined for
20 points and 12 rebounds.
Madeline Leslie sparked South in the third quarter by tossing in a half
dozen points that helped put them up by 15 at 40-25 with 59 seconds
remaining in the third.

Maddie Townsend’s three-point play and Leslie’s jumper capped off the
15-3 run but Cretsinger’s five points including a buzzer-beating three
got them within a dozen heading into the fourth.
The Rebels appeared to have things well in hand but Johnson County
fought its way back to get within four at 55-51 with 49 seconds remaining.
Part of that was due to freshman Destiny Cole’s nine fourth-quarter
points in addition to four clutch free throws by Cretsinger and Courtney
Brooks.
A six-pack of successful charity tosses by Clark down the stretch was
more than enough for South to pull out the victory.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.