O'Connell routs Calvert Hall

Cardinals beaten, 62-46, as Johnson scores 31

National Christian prevails

High Schools

State Farm Roundball Classic

January 21, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Bishop O'Connell of Arlington, Va., got a huge game from 6-foot-9 sophomore center Brian Johnson and beat No. 6 Calvert Hall, 62-46, in the second game of last night's State Farm Roundball Classic at the Towson Center.

National Christian of Fort Washington won the first game, 60-51, over The Miller School of Crozet, Va. Earl Risby led the Eagles with 20 points.

Johnson was 13-for-19 from the field and 5-for-5 at the foul line to score 31 points. He also had 12 rebounds in dominating the Cardinals (17-4) inside.

Johnson scored 19 of his points in the last two periods as the Knights (16-3) broke it open in the second half after taking a 26-22 lead at the half. Johnson put in 11 points in the third to send the Knights into the final eight minutes up by 47-34.

The O'Connell lead ballooned to 56-36 with 5:30 left and Calvert Hall was out of it."[Johnson] was hot, but Dwayne [Birden] didn't do that bad on him," said Calvert Hall coach Mark Amatucci.

"Johnson likes to go left, and we didn't do a good job doubling down. Plus, we didn't get back and they were sending two down every time. But the big thing is, it was the first this year somebody beat our pressure."

Joe Wootten, the O'Connell coach and son of Morgan Wootten of DeMatha, said that two more sophomores who start in guard Erik Smith and forward Freddie Stanback, played key roles in the team's handling of the Cardinals' pressure.

"Erik knows when to go and when to attack as does Freddie, who put us in transition with eight rebounds," said Wootten.

"My assistant scouted them and told us that Calvert Hall was a very good team defensively and well-coached. He was right, but we pushed it up and down and I thought we had good team chemistry."

Gary Neal scored 14 of his team-high 18 points for Calvert Hall in the second half, keeping his team in the game until the last period.

"It seemed like every time we got within eight or nine points, we didn't make good decisions offensively and they cost us," said Amatucci.

"But O'Connell is a really good team who can only make us better. We had been playing really well coming into this game."

After Smith's three-pointer at the buzzer gave the Knights a 13-point lead to start the last quarter, Johnson hit two in the paint, including a two-handed dunk, and Ahmad Smith made a three-pointer for a 54-36 lead. Ahmad Smith finished with nine points and four assists.

Johnson, the only Knight in double digits, sank two from the line for the 20-point lead.

Pierre Jones had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals, and Birden scored nine and pulled down five rebounds. Despite Johnson's dominance, Calvert Hall was out-rebounded only 25-23.

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