Annapolis wins as Johnson scores 25, grabs 21 rebounds

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 15, 2003|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

There may not be anyone in Anne Arundel County boys basketball who can jump with Annapolis' 6-foot-7 senior, Josh Johnson.

Last night Johnson dominated in the paint with a 25-point, 21-rebound performance in leading host and No. 6-ranked Annapolis to a 69-49 romp over No. 20 Meade.

It was the Panthers' 64th consecutive win in Anne Arundel County regular-season competition and 56th in a row over county teams since losing to Meade in the Class 4A East quarterfinals in 1999.

Johnson tied Meade guard Ray Williams for game-high scoring honors with the 25 points, The Panthers' big man also had three blocked shots.

"The ball was up there and nobody could jump with me, so I just go up there and get it," said Johnson, whom coach John Brady considers to be "one of the top three rebounders in school history and one of the best finishers."

"I played a real good game but the only thing I need to work on is my free throws," Johnson said.

Johnson, who was 3-for-8 from the line, scored 17 of his points in the second half.

With two dunks and 10 points on put-backs, overall, he led a second-half surge that enabled the Panthers (9-1, 5-0 league) to pull away from a 29-24 halftime lead.

"Rebounds are my thing right there," said Johnson. "I just like grabbing the ball. I got long arms and put them to use."

Meade (7-4, 3-3) came into the game with a three-game winning streak and played well in the first half and through most of the third period. The Panthers closed the third period with a 12-5 run on five points each by Johnson and Kojo Snowden, who had 12 points, and a basket by Laronja Owens.

Owens, who had 14 of his 20 points in the second half to go with four rebounds, four assists and four steals, launched a three-pointer to spark a 12-0 run to start the last eight minutes.

Annapolis' 51-39 lead grew to 63-39, sealing the win.

"We shot the ball so bad, missed too many shots," said Meade coach Butch Young, whose Mustangs were 20-for-62 from the floor - 9-for-32 in the second half.

"We took a few bad shots, but most of them were not that bad. I don't know if we were uptight or what. And in the first half we missed every foul shot we took except for one [1-for-7]."

Meade played without starter Rochard McAfee, who missed the game for undisclosed reasons.

Jacqwyn Liles was the only other Mustang in double figures with 11 points.

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