Lady Longhorns topple Lady Cyclones 56-54

Published 3:38 pm Monday, December 4, 2017

It was evident after the first eight minutes of play that the 2017 edition of the Johnson County Lady Longhorn basketball team was not the same as that of team’s past.

By the time the final horn sounded, the Lady Longhorns sent the message that it’s a new day and a new era as the Leon Tolley-led Longhorns took their first-ever win by all accounts over the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones in 56-54 opening-conference win inside Treadway Gymnasium.

“I was hoping that we could get far enough ahead that we couldn’t give it away,” said Tolley after the game. “I was kind of glad too that we were able to face some adversity because we kept taking timeouts and kept trying to refocus them.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“When you are trying to learn how to win, its kind of hard getting over that hurdle for the first time especially against a team like Elizabethton at their gym. Tonight, I am just really proud of them.”

The Lady Cyclones managed to win the first-half battle as Elizabethton took a slim 24-23 advantage into the locker room after the first 16 minutes of action.

Even without the lead, the Lady Longhorns showed no signs of being intimidated as they showed hustle on defense while crashing the boards on both ends to stay with an arm’s length of the lead.

Elizabethton’s Kaylen Shell and Morgan Headrick, meanwhile, were doing all they could do as both scored seven points in the half to push the Lady Cyclones out front.

Abbey Townsend and Kelsie Winters stepped behind the arc with each knocking down a trey as well for ‘Betsy.

Sadie Stout knocked down seven points, including 3-of-4 from the foul line, to give the Lady Longhorn faithful a good feeling after one half of play.

Emmy Miller chipped in with six points for Johnson County.

The third period was the turning point in the game as the Lady ‘Horns stampeded out of the gates to outscore Elizabethton 20-12 in the quarter to seize a 43-36 going into the fourth quarter of play.

Senior Courtney Brooks scored seven points during the stretch to help her team take the lead. Shell, meanwhile, was doing her best by dropping in nine points to keep Elizabethton from being any further down.

With the game hanging for the taking in the final eight minutes of play, Johnson County managed to extend their lead to 12 points before the Lady Cyclones came storming back to pull within two points late.

It wouldn’t be enough, however, as the Lady ‘Horns stymied any late-minute heroics and Tolley’s clinched fists raised victoriously in the air put the exclamation on the win.

Miller led the Lady ‘Horns in scoring knocking down 15 points while Brooks registered 13. Stout finished with nine points and Taylor Parsons netted contributed seven points.

“It’s our first conference game, and it’s a good way to start our conference season,” said Brooks. “It was a good way to set the tone for the rest of our season. I think Coach Tolley coming in has changed our mentality about what we can do as far as winning games.”

Elizabethton got 16 points from Shell and 15 points from freshman Headrick to pace the Lady Cyclones.

Destiny Little and Winters contributed with eight and six points, respectively.

“I guess we have got to live with what we have got,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Barry Johnson. “We are going to be inconsistent at times, but I am really proud of the way we came back.

“Congratulations to Johnson County, but I am still proud of my girls.”