Lightning-quick Kam Johnson leads Shaw past Catholic (BR), 77-69￼
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A veteran Catholic (Baton Rouge), winner of 10 of its past 11, returned Friday to the same gymnasium in Marrero where its 2022 season ended in the Division-I select quarterfinals. The Bears (19-5) hoped to add host Archbishop Shaw (18-4)…
A veteran Catholic (Baton Rouge), winner of 10 of its past 11, returned Friday to the same gymnasium in Marrero where its 2022 season ended in the Division-I select quarterfinals.
The Bears (19-5) hoped to add host Archbishop Shaw (18-4) to a revenge tour that already included four victories against teams to have beaten them a year earlier as a new-look roster and new coach navigated learning curves.
But lightning-quick senior point guard Kameron Johnson was — as he has been to many of the Eagles’ opponents the past couple years — kryptonite to those hopes and a leader on both ends of the court with 36 points in his squad’s 77-69 win.
(5’9″ | 2023)
From handle to pull up and release, Johnson is one of the quickest players in the state. He needs the slimmest of spaces or slightest of hesitations from a defender to rise and fire off his pretty jumper or blow past for a basket in the lane. He finished with 36 points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc, 6-for-8 on 2’s from top-of-key jumpers to acrobatic finishes through contact and 9-for-12 shooting from the foul line, as well as four rebounds, four assists, a pair of steals and a huge drawn charge early in the fourth quarter to help field the Eagles’ pull-away run. Coach Wesley Laurendine called the Loyola (New Orleans) commitment an extension of himself on the court, a dynamic that was easy and evident to see from start to finish in the guard’s intelligent and gritty play at his size and speed.
The junior wing played huge down the stretch as Shaw’s secondary ball-handler to Johnson making a pair of huge elbow jumpers and a few late free throws to help answer and hold off the Bears’ final comeback attempts. LaSalle scored 19 points — including three 3-pointers — grabbed a rebound and a steal and stood tall alongside teammate Will Lewis Jr. on a defensive play on which one or both of their outstretched arms blocked away a Catholic shot in the lane.
William Lewis Jr. (6’2″ | 2024)
The tall junior athlete with the long wingspan tacked on a handful of late points to finish with seven, but was a menace on defense and hustle plays throughout the contest for 11 rebounds, two or three blocks, a steal and an assist.
(6’5″ | 2024)
The long, lean athlete creates potential matchup issues with his combination of height and perimeter skill. Creppel drained a fourth-quarter 3-pointers to finish with seven points, dished out an assist and drew a charge out past the 3-point line with his on-ball defense just moments after Johnson’s, but also grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot.
(6’2″ | 2025)
The Bears’ tallest starter was a versatile inside-outside threat all night on the other end of the court en route to 21 points, including a first-quarter 3-pointer and several driving, cutting or second-chance baskets in the lane, including two three-point plays in the third quarter that fueled an 11-0 run to turn a nine-point deficit into a brief lead. McCurry grabbed five rebounds and a steal to go with his team-high scoring output.
(6’0″ | 2023)
The senior guard provided some clear quickness, energy and toughness to the Catholic backcourt, including the other five points of the aforementioned 11-0 third-quarter run with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws after stealing the ball in the backcourt and getting into the lane. Herbert finished with 15 points, a rebound and a pair of steals.
Dylan Gifford (6’0″ | 2024)
The junior wing scored 13 points with a second-quarter 3-pointer, some well-timed cuts and finishes and a strong drive on the block to his left and grabbed a rebound and dished out an assist.