By Tim Chambers
To win a big game you have to play a complete game and Johnson County failed to do so on Friday night against Sullivan East. Their stingy defense allowed only 40 points but their offense scored 17 less, resulting in a 40-23 loss inside of jammed packed Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
It appeared as if Johnson County would challenge in the first quarter. Courtney Brooks drove the lane for two quick buckets but East responded by going on a 16-0 run.
Kylee Wolfe tossed in three treys and Kassidy responded with five points that allowed East to move in front 16-4. Emmy Miller scored at the buzzer for Johnson County but they trailed 16-6 after one.
JCHS’ head coach Leon Tolley watched his team go five minutes without scoring in the first quarter and suffer another five-minute drought in the second period without a point. He said the Pats had a lot to do with that.
“I told our kids that East is a team that we should inspire to be like,” said Tolley. “They play hard and they share the basketball. They lost a lot of players from last year and people said they would be down, but they’re proving them wrong. It’s strictly from an effort point. It was simply basketball 101 for us tonight. Our girls are not ready for that stage or that kind of competition, but that’s where we have to get to if we’re going to do anything.”
East picked up where they left off and scored seven straight points to start the second. Taylor Parsons and Hazlee Kleine broke the drought with a couple of deuces to get them back within a baker’s dozen.
The Longhorns shot only 3-of-10 in the frame and turned it over at one stretch five consecutive times.
They trailed 27-12 at the half.
It only got worse for the Lady Horns in the third quarter. They went seven minutes without a point and trailed 36-15 heading into the fourth.
Brooks scored half of her team high 12 points in the final quarter, but a basket from Taylor Cox was the only other time they scored.
“East speeds you up, they get you rattled and out of sync,“ added Tolley. “We couldn’t slow down. We score on our first two possessions, then everything went haywire. Even the simple things you take for granted we couldn’t do. That’s a credit to East because they had us completely discombobulated, tore all to pieces. Credit them because they deserve every bit of it. I hope our kids learned a great lesson from it.”
East is now 3-2 in league play on the season. Johnson County falls to 2-3.
Sullivan East 40, Johnson Co. 23
Johnson Co. (23)
C. Brooks 12, Parsons 5, Miller 2, Cox 2, Kleine 2, Hall 0, Winters 0, Stout 0, Cornett 0.
Sullivan East (40)
Wolfe 15, Hanover 12, Ollis 6, Nelson 5, Holden 2
East 16 11 9 4 — 40
J.C. 6 6 3 8 — 23
3-point goals—JC 0. SE 5 (Wolfe 5)