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Young players gain experience despite losing to Cloudland

In a special Pink Out Relay for Life game that featured the Cloudland Highlanders and the Johnson County Longhorns, fans, coaches and players all sported pink attire in support of cancer awareness. A special cupcake sale was held as a fundraiser and even the visiting Johnson County Longhorns were given pink shoelaces to join in the festivities.
Being the last regular schedule game of the season against a notoriously tough team, Coach Austin Atwood took the opportunity to hold back some of his older varsity players to give some of the younger guys on the roster a chance to try their skill against a seasoned team. Although the game ultimately ended in a loss for the Longhorns, the night was much more valuable for the experience it gave than for the final numbers on the scoreboard.
“This was a great learning experience for the younger guys,” said Atwood. There was a lot of pressure and this is a great place to throw them in a little bit. Cloudland is good and made a lot of shots, but I’m pleased with our younger kids. Handling the basketball, those guys got better as they went on. I thought they were a little scared at first, but the positives were that they were a little quicker and attacked more physical on the offensive end. River Cazire did a great job on the rebound.”
Brian Dempsey made the first basket of the night but Johnson County was quickly surpassed by a storm of Highlander shots that landed them at 16 by the end of the first period. The Longhorns managed a couple more layups early on, but were unable to make any additional gains except for a single free throw from Chase Kleine that put them at seven.
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