By Tim Chambers
ERWIN— Johnson County’s hard-nosed defense forced Unicoi County to play a Phyllis-Diller type game for three quarters on Tuesday. Unfortunately, their final frame was like a Miss America pageant during the swimsuit competition. The Blue Devils turned some eyes in their 48-37 home win over the Horns.
The Blue Devils found themselves trailing 29-27 going into the final quarter. They rallied to outscore the Longhorns 21-8 over the final eight minutes that gave them an all important conference victory.
JCHS’ head coach Austin Atwood complemented his team on their hustle and effort. He said their shooting woes were what buried them.
“I thought we defended pretty good and kept them off balance for most of the game,” said Atwood. “We held their two big post players to eight points combined and that’s what we wanted to do. We shot the basketball poorly and that was our downfall. The effort was there and so was the heart. We should have won after holding a team like Unicoi County to 48 points.
The Longhorns used a three-point play by Austin Houser and treys each from Bud Icenhour and Zack Eller to grab a 9-7 lead to end the first quarter.
Blake Atwood did his best to keep the Horns even in the second quarter. His eight points in the period allowed the Horns to hang close, but a three-ball by Hensley and six points from Putman enabled the Blue Devils to take a 21-16 advantage.
Eller did his best to steal back the momentum by swishing a three in the final seconds but the Horns still trailed 21-19. Things got much better for the Steers in the third quarter.
Their stingy defense limited the Blue Devils to six points after the Horns had put up 10.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.