Annapolis pulls off inside job

Johnson's 31 points too much for Meade, 89-68

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 09, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

John Brady says junior Josh Johnson is "one of the best rebounders and finishers inside" in his 25 seasons coaching the Annapolis boys basketball team.

Anyone who was at Meade last night would not dispute that statement after watching Johnson score 19 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter and grab a game-high 15 rebounds to pace No. 4 Annapolis to an 89-68 romp over No. 13 Meade.

The victory was the 46th in a row for the Panthers over an Anne Arundel County opponent, improving the team's record to 10-0 overall and 4-0 in league. Meade, the last team to beat Annapolis, in 1999, fell to 8-3 and 3-1.

"Meade is a very good team and they kept coming back on us, but we played very, very well," Brady said. "I thought it was our best game of the year. We played super against a really talented team."

The game was incredibly fast-paced. Each team shot 49 percent from the field: Annapolis 37-for-75 and Meade 31-for-63.

In a game with few whistles, Annapolis was 9-for-13 from the free-throw line. Meade went to the line just once. Louis Benson, who made his team's only foul shot, in the third period, led the Mustangs with 24 points.

Johnson, who was shut out in the third quarter, more than made up for it in the fourth, using post-up moves and his 6-foot-5 frame to score all but three of the team's 22 points in the last eight minutes. His effort pushed a 67-57 lead to the eventual 21-point margin. He scored the first seven points and the last 12 of the final period.

Teammate Laronja Owens created most of his 16 points - all through three periods - and was joined in double figures by Darius Johnson (15), Elliott DeVoe (14) and Freddie Allen (10).

"Meade went through a stretch where they weren't guarding Elliott and Freddie and were stopping Josh with a double team," Brady said.

"But those guys were hitting shots, and after that they had to play one-on-one and there was no way they were going to stop him [Josh Johnson]."

Johnson downplayed his effort, saying he "got a lot of easy put-backs" in dominating down the stretch.

"I was getting pushed around a little bit, but I was getting easy shots because my teammates were getting me the ball down low," said Johnson, a two-year starter.

"It was probably my best game."

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