Having just come off a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Lady Cyclones, Johnson Countys girls basketball team was anything but ready to take on the equally tough Sullivan South Lady Rebels. Making things worse, the game was a rescheduled road match up held on a Saturday night following a tough JV tournament where 99 percent of the team had already played. Altogether the circumstances added up to be one of the most troubling losses in a season already chock full of low points.
We played a JV game over there beforehand and I think we kind of used that as an excuse to say we were tired, admitted Coach Todd Whittemore. We just didnt have any energy. We didnt play with any emotion and we got down on ourselves. Saturday night was horrible. Ill be haunted by that game forever.
Both offensively and defensively the first quarter was the best in the game for the Lady Longhorns, but even so they were still outscored 16-6. Four of those points came from senior Brooke Brown with sophomore Kelsey Duperry picking up the other layup. The defense did do a pretty good job throughout the rest of the game as well, keeping Souths score much lower than it could have been despite the fact that it didnt take much to stay out front.
Those first 16 points aside, the Lady Rebels dropped to 11 in the second, back up to 13 in the third, and only nine the whole fourth quarter. At 49 points total, the game was not one of the highest that South has played this year, but with Johnson County steadily dropping in successful shots each period, and making just two points the whole second half, it was more than enough to get the job done.
A three pointer by Kourtney Tolley and a single basket by Brown rounded out the second, leaving Johnson County trailing 11-27. Fans were hopeful for a renewed turnaround after the half but were instead forced to witness a lengthy dry spell filled with missed shots, steady turnovers, and rapidly declining spirit by the Lady Longhorns. Coach Todd Whittemore did his best to try and get the girls back on track, but as things got steadily worse there was little anyone could do to revive the girls interest in the game.
I coached 16 minutes and my team produced two points, Whittemore said. Thats not a very good coaching job. I dont care who you are, what level, it doesnt matter. Ive never finished a game where my team had only 13 points, and two in the second half. Whatever Im doing right now its obviously not very good.
Still, even obviously disappointed with the outcome Whittemore tried to be optimistic about the situation, acknowledging that there were several factors affecting his teams performance. It was Saturday, Whittemore concluded. It was on the road, our girls had never played at South before, and I think they went in there all wide eyed. Then we got a little tired, things didnt go our way, and we just kind of melted.
Johnson County 13
Sullivan South 49
Kourtney Tolley 5
Brooke Brown 4
Kelsey Duperry 4