By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
KINGSPORT—The term unable to hit the broadside of a barn was clearly defined in Johnson Countys loss to Sullivan South on Friday. The Longhorns fell 50-37 in a game where they simply shot themselves out of the first round of the District 1-AA tournament for the second consecutive season.
It was a 180 turnaround for the two teams on the floor.
The Longhorns had defeated South 54-46 on January 12 but the two teams would head in different directions from there.
The Rebels (12-15) went from a cellar dweller to a fourth seed while the Longhorns kept reeling during the last half. South had lost only one time during the month of February and was playing on their home floor.
Our kids deserve a chance to play in the (District) semifinals, said Souths head coach Mark Pendleton. Theyve worked hard. I couldnt be happier for them.
The happiness picture was nowhere to be found among the Johnson County coaches, players and fans after the game. Many could only shake their heads wondering where it all went wrong.
All one had to do was compare the two halves.
The game started well for Johnson County after Cody Bailie had tied the game at 2-2 with a basket. Jose Guzman followed with five straight points including a trey to give the Horns a 7-2 advantage.
Caleb Throop made it 9-4 by swishing a foul line jumper but from there the shooting woes would start to set in.
Seth Crawfords late three-ball got South within two at 9-7 after one. Slowly Johnson Countys lead began to evaporate.
A pair of deuces by Bailie and Bud Icenhour gave the Horns a 13-12 advantage after the Rebels had moved in front to start the second quarter. But that would be their final lead of the game.
A three-ball from Garrett Bowrey highlighted an 8-0 run by the Rebels and put them in front 20-13.
Johnson County scored only eight points in the quarter and Bailie had a half dozen of those. His final two baskets sent them into the halftime break trailing 20-17 with a little momentum.
But Big Mo would go out the window in a hurry to start the third.
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