Seahawks sink short-handed 'Horns

By Matt Hill

   KINGSPORT -- Playing a basketball game without three of your best players is like playing Russian Roulette. It's very risky.
   But on Thursday, Johnson County head coach Austin Atwood thought it was for the best to take that risk.
   The Longhorns lost to the Cedar View Seahawks 48-41 at Cedar View without the services of Matt Cornett, Tommy Short and Matt Eggers.
   "We're getting ready for tomorrow night," Atwood said referring to Friday's matchup with Watauga Conference powerhouse Sullivan Central. "It was good experience for those young guys."
   Atwood wanted to rest Cornett, Short and Eggers for the Central game.
   Two of his regular starters that Atwood brought to Kingsport were Judd Shoun and Michael Lipford . Shoun scored 17 for the Longhorns, while Lipford tallied nine.
   "We wanted to get them a little experience," Atwood said about his young starters.
   The second quarter was key for the Seahawks. They outscored Johnson County 20-6 in that frame to take a 29-15 cushion into the locker room.
   "We didn't expect to win," Atwood said. "But we expected to play a little better than we did in the first half."
   Cedar View was ahead 33-18 when Atwood was assessed a technical foul.
   The Longhorns responded after that, and the boys from Mountain City were only behind 40-30 after three.
   "They played a little better after the technical," Atwood said. "But I never attended to get a technical. I hate getting them, and actually I didn't do much to deserve that one. But that guy is usually a good official they say. I think he usually calls elementary games, so this was probably something pretty big for him."
   Johnson County cut the Cedar View lead to 40-36 on a Lipford basket with 5:57 remaining, but couldn't get any closer.
   Jeremy Dorton topped Cedar View with 18 points, while Dustin Jessee added nine.
   Johnson County 46
   Cedar View 39
   The Lady Longhorns received a huge scare by the Seahawks, but managed to prevail.
   Johnson County was ahead 42-24 with 3:35 to go in the game, but the Seahawks quickly stormed back.
   Cedar View scored 15 unanswered to cut the Longhorn lead to 42-39 with 36.3 seconds remaining.
   "We lost our focus," Johnson County head coach Eric Crabtree said. "I don't know if we got up early, and thought it was going to be easy, or if they had their minds on other stuff. I don't know what went on."
   The Longhorns were ahead 44-39 when Andrea McQueen was intentionally fouled by a Cedar View player. She made both free-throws to seal the deal for Johnson County.
   Crabtree thought the Longhorns didn't bring their best game to Cedar View Thursday.
   "We just came out flat," Crabtree said. "The whole game I felt we were flat. We're fortunate to win the game."
   McQueen led the Lady Longhorns with 20. Brittany Wells topped the Seahawks with 15.
   The Lady Longhorns will also face Sullivan Central tonight, a team that has already beaten Class AAA powerhouse Sullivan East this season.
   "We have to play a lot better," Crabtree said. "We've got the potential, but we have to play past our potential."