By Beth Cox
The Wednesday, Dec. 18 ballgame at JCHS proved to be an intense game with both the Lady Longhorns and Pioneers fighting through to the end. ,The Lady Longhorns started the first half much better as in previous games. Natalie Winters came out strong getting the ball down the court with both outside guards Taylor Cox and Sadie Stout helping on the press plays. Emmy Miller was not able to play due to illness, but Rhiannon Icenhour and Hazlee Kleine worked hard underneath the basket and was strong defensively. Taylor Parsons owned the scoreboard, putting up 24 points against the Pioneers.
Johnson County battled hard for the lead. Parsons was flawless offensively. Crockett’s defense was aggressive, and the Lady Horns had to adjust the game to become stronger, especially under the goal. With Natalie Winters easily making both baskets at the foul line, the game was tied 29-29 at halftime at the end of the second quarter.
The third quarter was a game-changer for the Lady Longhorns. Crockett and Johnson County were tied 37-37 with 2:09 left on the clock. Rhiannon Icenhour rebounds the ball throws to Abby Cornett, who takes the ball to the board for two. The score is now 39-37. With 1:16 left on the clock, Taylor Parsons gets the foul and puts two free throws down with the score 41-37. With 39 seconds left on the clock, a foul was called against Crockett, Pioneers coach Tony Gordon was upset with the call and let the referee know about his frustrations, he then was served a technical foul, but Gordon was not done with the referee and was handed another technical foul. The Pioneers coach was escorted off the court but shook hands with Coach Leon Tolley on the way out and gave the nod to the Pioneer fans. Taylor Parsons made the shots, and the Lady Horns go into the final quarter, 46-37.
The fourth quarter was a battle for every point. After Cox made a foul shot, the Horns were up by ten, but the tide turned quickly. Several turnovers and a sloppy offense helped the Pioneers catch up with Johnson County and tie up the game. The Lady Horns became a little relaxed on defense that led to foul trouble for the home team. After Winters fouled out, Sadie Stout carried the ball down the court, but the Pioneer defense was tough and did not give the Lady Horns many shooting opportunities. With seconds left on the clock and a tied ballgame, Cornett got the ball, shot down a three-point basket, and sealed the deal for a 57-55 win for Johnson County. Sadie Stout had thirteen points for the nights. Cox went away with eight, followed by Cornett with seven and Winters with five.