Longhorns overcome by Patriots

  BLUFF CITY--Austin Atwood likes to put forth a good showing anytime he meets his old coach John Dyer. It didn't happen on Friday night at the Patriot Palace.
  Sullivan East routed Johnson County 70-35 in a non-conference basketball game. Dyer coached Atwood, now the Longhorns' head man, at Johnson County in the late 1980s.
  "You really hate to lose to your old mentor," Atwood said. "I really look up to him. I think John does one of the best jobs in East Tennessee. I don't enjoy playing against him, but it's fun when you've got two competitive teams out there.
  "Tonight it just wasn't very fun. I hate when a guy you played for and a guy you respect so much, you put a product like that on the floor. It's pretty tough to handle."
  The Longhorns dropped to 2-6. East is 5-4.
  Johnson County led 5-3 after one period. The Patriots didn't get their first bucket until 2:55 remaining in the quarter, when Jared Lyons made it 2-2.
  "We've gone through a hard stretch here of making some shots, and they knew exactly what they wanted to do," Dyer said. "They made it hard for Dusty Craig to penetrate, but I was proud of our guys of not just getting down. We played a really good second quarter.
  "Johnson County, they're young, they're reloading and they're rebuilding. But Austin had them ready to play. They did the right things. It's just one of those years for the Longhorns, but they will get better and they've already gotten better."
  Atwood was frustrated his team didn't take advantage of the situation better.
  "Our turnovers absolutely killed us during that stretch," Atwood said. "When you hold somebody scoreless for six minutes, you've at least got to get 12, 14 or 16 points on the board. We had good possession, we just turned the thing over."
  Behind seven points from Craig, the Patriots surged to a 29-16 halftime advantage.
  "I thought they played well the first quarter," Dyer said. "I thought they continued to play well. They just missed some shots. Of course we played some pretty good defense that caused a few turnovers. We got some layups off our defense which got us going."
  Craig scored seven more points in the third period, when East stretched its advantage to 48-27. That was after Johnson County's Chris McCloud nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
  "We can't get behind six or eight," Atwood said. "We've got to score, so I knew then we were going to have a tough time. But I felt like our post players did a great job. They competed pretty well. Our guards just have to get better."
  East got 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals from Craig. Cody Shipley and Dustin Mason tossed in 10 each.
  John Stout paced the Longhorns with 13 points and seven boards.
  "We've got to do the little things a little better, because we have a tough time," Atwood said. "We're just not very athletic."
  Sullivan East (girls) 53
  Johnson County 28
  The Lady Longhorns (0-6) had no answer for dominating post Kristen Ervin in absorbing a beating.
  "It's a game we thought maybe we should have competed with, maybe not necessarily won," Johnson County coach Eric Crabtree said. "We don't ever go into a game saying we should win it, but we definitely should have competed -- and we didn't compete. We made way too many mistakes.
  "Offensively, we're just so anemic. We're not running offenses very well, we're not cutting very well, we're not finishing very well and we're not hitting our fouls shots very well."
  East (2-7) led 16-7 after one period, when Ervin had muscled her way to nine points. It was 21-10 at the break and 35-22 heading in the final quarter.
  Erwin totaled 26 points and 11 rebounds.
  "Defensively we're not doing bad," Crabtree said. "Give up 53 points -- that's not bad for a girls' game. I wasn't real happy with how many points we gave Erwin, but she's a good ball player. Offensively, we should be scoring 40-50 points. And it should not be a struggle to make 30 points."
  April McCloud paced the Longhorns with 12 points. Jenny Tugman pulled down seven rebounds. Johnson County was 11 of 24 at the line.
  "We've got to get more disciplined, run and execute better, and turn the thing around," Crabtree said. "There's no magic potion that we can use. We've got to discipline on offense, work a little harder on defense and do all the little things it takes to win.
  "Right now we're not doing much of anything. We're trying hard. We're just not executing well."