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Unique Blue Devils derail JCHS Longhorns 67-52

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]
This week has been like “bad luck fishing” for Johnson County. Twice they have had the “big ones” on the hook only to let them get away.
Thus was the case with Unicoi County who escaped with a 67-52 win on Friday inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium. It was almost a repeat of the Elizabethton loss on Tuesday.
A strong fourth quarter allowed the Blue Devils to break the game open. Johnson County’s head coach Austin Atwood felt like his team had a lot to do with it.
“We didn’t play hard for the first time in a long time” said Atwood. “Our teams in the past have always done that, but for some reason we’re not closing out games. That’s all on me and the staff. I liked our effort against Elizabethton but tonight we were slow in all phases. That starts with effort but we’ll get it fixed in a hurry. We can’t play with that type of intensity and win.”
The ‘Horns (1-4, 9-8) got off to a fast start. Jose Guzman’s three-ball to open the game helped them sprint to a 5-0 lead.
He closed the quarter with another one but Johnson County trailed 11-10 after one.
The Blue Devils pushed the lead to six in the second quarter on a basket by Merrick Nicksic and Trevor Hensley’s trifecta. But the ‘Horns bounced back getting deuces from Austin Houser, Cody Bailey, Chase Phillips and Weston Throop to pull within two after an 8-2 run.
Hensley was a dagger in Johnson County’s side anytime they got close. He closed the half with another trey giving Unicoi County a 28-23 advantage at the intermission.

“You have to guard shooters and we didn’t do that,” added Atwood. “We were a step slow getting to them. They made us pay for it.”
Especially in the third quarter where Hensley tallied 11 points including three treys. Johnson County got within three twice on a pair of Chase Phillips’ baskets and one from Houser.
Unicoi County (4-1, 10-10) closed the frame getting three-pointers from Nicksic and Hensley to go up 47-40. They outscored the ‘Horns 19-12 with 15 of those coming from long distance.
That carried over the momentum into the final quarter.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.