Lady 'Horns rip Cougars

By Matt Hill

   MOUNTAIN CITY- The Johnson County Lady Longhorns were like a barbecue rib dinner Friday night. They were a mess for their opponent.
   The Lady Longhorns lost to Watauga Conference powerhouse Sullivan Central 53-35 at Ray Shoun Gym, but showed plenty of promise against the Lady Cougars.
   "We played well," Johnson County head coach Eric Crabtree said. "That's the best we've played all year. We did everything we set out for."
   The Lady Longhorns struggled in a win over Cedar View Christian Thursday afternoon, but in the first half it definitely appeared like they were taking their frustrations out on the Lady Cougars.
   Johnson County came out shooting the long ball Friday night. The Lady Cougars were up 10-9, but that was before three-pointers by Nikki Davidson and Andrea McQueen put Johnson County on top 15-10 after the first quarter.
   The Lady Longhorns continued their stellar shooting in the second quarter. Johnson County extended its lead to 21-13 after a McQueen lay-up with 3:56 left before halftime.
   But that's as far as the Lady Longhorns would extend their advantage. Propelled by some hot shooting by Lindsey McGrady, the Lady Cougars went on a 9-0 run to take a 22-21 lead into the locker room.
   "A good team like that you expect runs," Crabtree said. "We went cold."
   The Lady Cougars never gave up the lead after halftime. By the final minute of the third quarter, Sullivan Central had extended its advantage to 36-24, and never looked back.
   The Lady Longhorns played most of the game without post player Tasha Lunceford. She suffered a knee injury early in the first quarter, and did not play again until late in the third.
   Overall, Crabtree thought the Longhorns did a good job on the boards considering her loss, and the fact they were playing a team with four girls at least six-feet fall.
   "I thought we held our own for the most part of the game," Crabtree said about going up against the tall players.
   It was a balanced scoring effort for the Lady Cougars. Leading the charge was Lauren Burke with 15 points.
   McGrady and Ashley Masoner also had strong outings, as they both netted 12. Masoner scored all of her points in the second half.
   The Lady Longhorns were topped by Andrea McQueen, who had 12. Jessica Townsend added seven for Johnson County.
   Sullivan Central now improves to 5-1 overall, and 2-0 in the Watauga Conference. Johnson County falls to 2-2 overall, and 0-1 in league play.
   Crabtree believes this was a moral victory for his team.
   "We can take a lot from this game," Crabtree said. "This is a big confidence builder. We proved we could play with one of the top teams in the district."
   The Lady Longhorns will be back in action Tuesday night against Happy Valley.