Fayette County sweeps McIntosh in basketball

Tue, 11/27/2007 - 10:51pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Nothing seems to faze Noel Johnson on his home away from home, the basketball court, not even playing in front of one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time.

With Louisville coach Rick Pitino sitting within feet of the court, Johnson put on a show, scoring a career-high 42 points and pulling in 14 rebounds to lead Fayette County to a 64-59 victory over crosstown rival McIntosh in a Region 2-AAAA game in Fayetteville.

McIntosh did its best to clamp down on Johnson, attempting to lock him down in the corners of the court. But Fayette coach Andre Flynn made a strategic move to free up Johnson, which worked to perfection, allowing him to slice and dice his way through McIntosh’s defenders.

“We we did was changed and put him in the middle because they were trapping him a little bit,” Fayette coach Andre Flynn said of Johnson, a junior shooting guard, who is being recruited by numerous Division I schools across the country, including Louisville. “He was a little indecisive in the corner so we put him at the top in the middle and that opened it up a little bit. He was able to turn around and shoot it.”

The boys victory completed a sweep for Fayette, whose girls defeated the McIntosh Lady Chiefs 51-28 in the earlier game.

Fayette’s boys (3-1, 1-0 in Region 2-AAAA) led by as many as 14 against McIntosh, but the Chiefs fought all the way back and took a 52-50 lead on Robert Chubb’s layup that completed a 9-1 run to begin the fourth quarter with 4:46 remaining.

In addition to Chubb’s basket, Patrick Michel went off, scoring on back-to-back putbacks and draining a 3-pointer during the run.

The Tigers recovered, outscoring McIntosh 14-7 the rest of the way to escape with the victory. During that stretch, Fayette sank nine free throws, with Johnson, who had 10 points in the quarter, hitting five.

In the final 38.7 seconds, Johnson and Boykin carried Fayette, scoring three points apiece.

Fayette cruised in the first half, taking a 14-point lead late in the second quarter on six consecutive baskets, including a pair of free throws, by Johnson.

McIntosh chipped away at Fayette’s lead in the third quarter, bringing it down to 49-43 entering the fourth quarter.

Johnson was the lone Tigers player to score in double figures. Boykin was Fayette’s second-leading scorer with nine points.

Cameron Rich scored a team-high 20 points for McIntosh, which had two other players score in double figures, Michel (13 points) and Jeremy Lampkin (11).

Fayette (3-1, 1-0 in Region 2-AAAA) led almost from start to finish in the girls game. The Lady Tigers led 20-11 at halftime and, by the end of the third quarter, it held a commanding 35-17 lead.

"I told the girls that we needed to come out and take control," Fayette coach John Strickland said. "We wanted to come out and establish ourselves early on."

Fayette was aggressive at both ends of the court, especially defensively; it didn’t let McIntosh break 20 points until Olivia Tucker nailed a 3-pointer with 3:08 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Forwards Chasity Welch (15 points) and Sasha Sims (12) led Fayette offensively. Jasmine Facey added seven.

McIntosh was led by Erin Justice and Laura Higgason, both of whom scored eight points.

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