Cyclones finally manage to lasso stubborn group of Longhorns

Published 8:39 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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The Elizabethton Cyclones were scratching their heads when they took on the visiting Johnson Co. Longhorns at John Treadway Gym in non-conference basketball action.

Not that their heads were itching by no means, but because they just couldn’t figure out what to do with the stubborn Johnson Co. Longhorns, who constantly made a charge to the front before being lassoed by the Cyclones for a 67-59 win.

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The Cyclones took the lead at the first horn, 15-10, on the strength of four points apiece from Mac Paulson and Will Churchill.

Johnson Co. shaved the lead down to one at the intermission, 29-28, as Darren Chappel and Eli Dickens got the hot hands to score five points each to help the visitors from Mountain City close the gap.

Knowing the second half was going to be a shootout to the end, Elizabethton came out of the locker room after intermission to outscore the visitors 18-13 to push the lead back to six points, 47-41 with eight minutes left to play.

Andrew Barnett was the go-to guy for Coach Lucas Honeycutt’s team in the period as the outside shooting specialist connected on a pair of treys and a deuce for eight points in the quarter.

The fourth quarter gave the crowd their money’s worth in the final eight minutes of action as every time the Cyclones pushed the lead to 12 to 14 points, Johnson Co. kept the heat on which didn’t allow the Cyclones any room for a breather.

Senior post Jackson Hobbs took over in the quarter for Elizabethton hitting for 10 points from close range to help keep the lead at arm’s length for the Cyclones.

Five Cyclones hit for double figures in the game led by Jackson’s team-high 16 points. Paulson finished with 11 points while Luke Whaley, Barnett, and Churchill each finished with 10 points apiece.

Zack Wallin added four points in the win for Elizabethton while two points were recorded by three Cyclones – Hudson Pate, Justius Wallin, and Jackson Buckles.

Chappel led a trio of Longhorns in double figures as he scored a game-high 20 points. Landin Lipford dropped in 13 while Carson Jennings added 10 points.

Eli Dickens also scored nine points for head coach Austin Atwood’s Longhorns.