Johnson Takes Lady Tornado to Victory Over VI in Season Opener

The Lady Tornado opened the 2012-13 season with a 76-60 victory over state-line rival, Virginia Intermont, Wednesday night. Brooke Johnson led the team with 15 points.

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Led by team captain Brooke Johnson, the Lady Tornado basketball team opened up the 2012-13 season with 11 three-point makes to catapult King over the Virginia Intermont Cobras, 76-60. Johnson was one of three players to hit a trio of threes and led the team with 15 points on the night.

King (1-0) never trailed in the contest and was led to victory by strong shooting from both the field and from long range. The Lady Tornado shot 44.8 percent from the field and had four players shot 50 percent or better with at least seven shot attempts. Those players include sophomores Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky.), Chelsea Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn./ETSU), and Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.), who combined to shoot 13-for-26 (.500). Freshman Stephanie Brantley (Pilot Mountain, Tenn.) was the most efficient Lady Tornado shooter, going 4-for-7 from the field.

The hosts went on a 9-2 run to separate themselves early, 19-10, but the Cobras crept back to within a point with 6:35 remaining, 22-21. During their 11-2 return rally, Rainey Story accounted for nine of those points from inside the painted area. With more than four minutes to go, King extended their lead to 10 points, holding VI to one basket to take a 37-27 score into the locker room.

The Lady Tornado kept the offense rolling with 39 second-half points with Durrett leading the way with 10 of those. Sprouse went a perfect 3-for-3 from the field in the second half while Brantley scored all nine of her points in the final 20 minutes. Virginia Intermont never came closer than seven points to King and trailed by as many as 19 with 2:18 remaining in the game.

Senior Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) led the team with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and went 3-for-7 from three-point range. She also added three rebounds.

Four players made their debuts with the team on Wednesday. Sophomores Bonnie Durrett, Chelsea Bowling, and Sara Mitchell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) combined with Stephanie Brantley for 36 of their team's 76 points.

Alley Sprouse finished with eight points and eight rebounds while Durrett tallied 13 points and six rebounds. She also led the team with three steals and three blocks.

Rainey Story led the Cobras with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and added six rebounds. Kayla Orrick joined her in double digits with 17 points.

King's next action with be in Misenheimer, N.C. when they kick off the Conference Carolinas season against Pfeiffer University. The Lady Tornado will tipoff at 2 p.m. as part of a men's/women's doubleheader on Saturday, Nov. 17. Their next home action will be on Dec. 1 against Queens (N.C.).