By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County was close to earning a berth into the District Middle Schools championship game until Happy Valley stole it away at the end. The Lady Warriors went on a 9-0 run with under two minutes to play and earned a hard fought 39-34 victory.
It was a tough loss for Johnson County who led the entire way.
Adrian Halls basket had given the Longhorns a 33-25 advantage with 2:48 remaining in the game. But Happy Valley closed the contest on a 14-1 run including five in the final few seconds.
We were up eight points when our point guard, Natalie Winters, fouled out and that hurt us, said Johnson Countys head coach Kechia Eller. We just never were in sync after that. We lost Hannah Brooks with an injury during that stretch too. We played one heck of a game and gave it our all up to the final three minutes of the game. The kids were cheering on one another and their intensity level was high. But they got all the breaks down the stretch. That and losing two starters was the difference.
Eller was spot on with her assessments.
Winters fouled out of the game just after the Horns had taken an eight-point lead. She scored only two points in the contest but left with five assists, three steals and only one turnover.
It was nearly the same result with Brooks. She was injured at the 2:07 mark and departed with eight rebounds. And despite not scoring she managed to shut down Happy Valleys inside game.
Neither team could get cranked up in the first stanza.
Baskets by Taylor Parsons, Winters, and Sadie Stout were one better than the two provided by Happy Valleys Kalee Lane and Olivia Absher.
The Longhorns would build on their 6-4 lead in the second period.
Half of their 14 points came from the foul line. Abby Cornett hit five charity tosses and Parsons added a couple.
Tiffany Price had a late basket and Hall canned a three, allowing Johnson County to take a 20-16 halftime lead.
Torey Roberts and Aleshia Scalf scored Happy Valleys first two buckets in the third quarter but Hall matched that with two of her own.
Happy Valley fought hard to keep the score under double-digits going into the fourth quarter with Lanes deuce being the difference. Baskets by Parsons, Hall and Price had given Johnson County a 10-point advantage.
Thats when the wheels came off the wagon for Johnson County in the fourth.
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