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Tomahawk Talk: It’s time to start looking at tournaments

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

If the Johnson County Longhorns want to make the regional tournament, they must start winning some regular-season conference games.The boys have been knocking on the door several times but have nothing to show for it, while the girls have spent much of their time in quarantine due to COVID. So far, the boys are out of the last seed by a slim margin due to their win over Happy Valley earlier this year. The girls have yet to get a conference win but will have three chances to do so this week.

The Horns had a tune-up game at Unaka on Monday before hosting Sullivan South on Tuesday. On Friday, they can get out of last place by knocking off Happy Valley at home. The girls have a chance to get in the win column by defeating South and Happy Valley at home on the same nights as the boys. Two wins would keep the Lady Longhorn from defeating the first or second-place league teams in the first round to make the tournament. There wins, which is a long shot, would shake up the standings.

Sullivan East leads the boys’ side with a 5-0 league record, while Elizabethton is 5-1 after losing to East 65-59 on Friday night in the Dyer Dome. With their narrow win at Johnson County, Unicoi County is 4-1, while Sullivan South is 3-3, and Sullivan Central 2-4. The Longhorns took South and Central down to the wire before losing and led Unicoi County until late. This shows that there is not much separation among the teams. Johnson County will look to improve on their 1-5 league record. Happy Valley is 0-6.

It’s a much tougher uphill battle for the girls (0-3) after having several games postponed due to being in quarantine. They could even their 0-3 mark with wins over South, Happy Valley, and Unicoi County on Saturday. They got in a full week of practice this past week so look for them to be ready to compete. The junior high District tournament is expected to start next Friday at a site to be determined.

Three Rivers Boys’ Conference Standings

Conf. Overall
Sullivan East 5 0 12 5
Elizabethton 5 1 11 3
Unicoi County 4 1 10 8
Sullivan South 3 3 6 9
Sullivan Central 2 4 4 9
Johnson County 1 5 3 10
Happy Valley 0 6 1 9

Three Rivers Girls’ Conference Standings

Conf. Overall
Sullivan East 4 0 14 3
Sullivan Central 5 1 11 5
Elizabethton 2 2 9 5
Unicoi County 2 2 7 6
Happy Valley 2 3 4 5
Johnson County 0 3 4 5