Boys Basketball: Johnson Crusaders Defeat Jonathan Dayton HS

Arthur L. Johnson High School senior George Visconti says he wants to finish his career on a high note and keep going for the rest of the season. Credits: Daniel Collins
Arthur L. Johnson High School junior Brenden Kelly says head coach Dave Kennedy talked about playing hard for the seniors on Senior Night. He had 16 points in the win for his team. Credits: Daniel Collins
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Ross Wildes says as a newer player to the team, he's continued to get better as the games have gone on and looks forward for the rest of the season. Credits: Daniel Collins
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Joe DiProfio says being part of the program. He enjoys playing with his teammates and reiterated his passion for the game of basketball. Credits: Daniel Collins
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Jeff Drajin says he likes playing for his team and head coach, adding he's enoyed being a part of the successes the team has accomplished during his time. Credits: Daniel Collins

CLARK, NJ - The Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders boys varsity basketball team took the win in their home game against the Jonathan Dayton High School (Springfield) Bulldogs. With a complete team effort, the Crusaders defeated the Bulldogs by a final score of 69-41 Tuesday night in Clark.

As the game got underway, the Crusaders struggled to pull together a solid offense, leading to them trailing the Bulldogs 8-6 after the first quarter.

Johnson was quick to pull it together at the start of the second quarter with a 13-0 scoring run, receiving four points from Jeff Drajin, four points from junior Brandon Hund, a three-point shot from George Visconti and a shot from Joe DiProfio. The Crusaders led 19-8 with 5:00 left in the second quarter, forcing the Bulldogs to burn two timeouts in the process.

Sign Up for E-News

Dayton continued draining shots to get closer, only for the Crusaders to answer most of their shots with baskets of their own. Hund delivered four more points and junior Brenden Kelly hit a three-point shot to boost Johnson’s lead.

Johnson outscored Dayton 20-8 in the quarter, building up a 26-16 lead by halftime.

On the defensive side of the game, Ross Wildes’ role has increased since the start of the season.

“It’s just a lot of hard work,” Wildes said. “Compared to the other seniors, I’m kind of new and got better as the years have went on. There’s a lot of hard work and effort to go where we are now.”

As the third quarter started, Johnson continued the offensive streak. Visconti scored five points to open the quarter, while Kelly and Drajin supplied the rest of the early offense, with Johnson taking a 36-22 lead with 5:01 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Crusaders scored the first seven points, increasing their lead to 54-30 with 7:03 left. Johnson scored seven straight points for the second time in the quarter, making it a 61-33 lead with 4:03 left in the fourth quarter.

With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the seniors exited the court to a standing ovation as their other teammates took the floor and finished the game.

Kelly finished the night with 16 points, along with four three-pointers in the win. Hund delivered 12 points and Drajin finished with 14 points in the win for his team.

“[Coach] Kennedy talked to us in the locker room about playing hard for our seniors every year,” Kelly said. “The juniors and sophomores play hard every year. We want to keep the tradition going.”

“Us doing that and keeping the culture going, getting us better for next year and hopefully, keep going for them so they can get a longer career,” he added.

Visconti finished with 19 points for the Crusaders, offering his thoughts of his career and time with the program.

“Coming in, basketball was definitely my favorite sport,” Visconti said. I was kind of unsure as to what to expect for my four-year career. Freshman year went extremely well and I limited myself to basketball only because it’s my passion.”

“I was able to accomplish amazing things as an individual and also, collectively with my teammates,” Visconti said. “So overall, it’s been a tremendous journey and I just want to finish out on the highest possible note I can and that’s my only goal from here on out.”

With the win, Johnson becomes the 2017-18 Union County Conference Sky Division Co-Champions with New Providence, the two teams splitting their meetings in the regular season.

The Johnson Crusaders (12-5) head out on the road to play at Summit HS Thursday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.

The Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs (6-10) return to action with a home game against Bernards HS Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

---------------  is Clark’s official electronic news source and the only free daily paper. 

Sign up for our free daily enews.

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption



Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Hamilton Stage, Rahway

Marc Mero Live in Rahway

Kumpf Students Creating Works of Art!

May 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ - Students in Mr. Baker's Life Skills Class at Carl H. Kumpf Middle School recently participated in a special art lesson joining Mr. Peitz’s class. The students worked on free hand drawings using pictures they chose.  Some of the pictures included a lion, a dog, cat, and a video game character. Students also worked with ceramics creating art ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

I'm Excited To See What Sara Todisco Will Do As Mayor.

May 25, 2018

My first time hearing the name Sara Todisco was when reading about her in a newspaper article during her first year on Council. A couple citizens made comments about her age and how they thought she was too young on an anonymous online forum. I responded that here was a young person eager to get involved in our town. We should give her a chance and if we weren't satisfied, we could ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!



Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more

NJ American Water Working to Replace Water Mains in Clark

May 16, 2018

VOORHEES, NJ – New Jersey American Water plans to replace roughly 1,200 feet of water main lines in Clark according to a notice released on May 16.

The document indicates the company is replacing main along Georgian Drive, from Ross Street to Sherwood Circle that was originally installed in the 1930s.  Two hydrants and 29 utility-owned service lines along the pipeline route will ...