Sports

Boys Basketball: Johnson Crusaders Pull Away in Fourth Quarter to Defeat Oratory Prep HS

fa4ee8cf9e087be3bbb4_ALJ-Oratory_Prep__1.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School junior Brandon Hund attempting a three-point shot in the second quarter. He finished with 18 points and beat the buzzer right before halftime with a three-point shot. Credits: Daniel Collins
c7fa02c24243d53a4de1_ALJ-Oratory_Prep__2.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Jeff Drajin says sticking together and making the collective decision to come together in the fourth quarter fueled the Crusaders' 51-39 win over Oratory Prep HS. Credits: Daniel Collins
2bfde238a5299eb385dd_ALJ-Oratory_Prep__3.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior George Visconti finished the night with 20 points in the win. He says applying major defensive pressure caused Oratory Prep to start farther out. Credits: Daniel Collins
ee9419d432eb1964e4fa_ALJ-Oratory_Prep__4.JPG
When the offense for the Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders wasn't quite clicking early on, the defense held Oratory Prep HS (Summit) to 18 first half points and gave them a chance for a win. Credits: Daniel Collins
e0547bdff077dbab44c4_ALJ-Oratory_Prep__5.JPG
The Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders will play Union HS Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in the Allstate Eric LeGrand Classic at Kean University. Credits: Daniel Collins
fa4ee8cf9e087be3bbb4_ALJ-Oratory_Prep__1.JPG

CLARK, NJ- The Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders boys varsity basketball team found themselves in a low-scoring, defensive battle in the first half of a game against the Oratory Prep High School Rams (Summit) before breaking away to win 51-39.

The Crusaders’ defense, was key to their success as the Rams struggled to move the ball and find shots within the inside area of the basket.  Instead the Crusaders forced them to do extra passing and looking, leading to turnovers and opportunity for Johnson.

“We started pressuring full-court and as we started adding more pressure on defense, we got some quick turnovers, which led to easy scores for us. Whenever you can get points off your defense, it helps out your offense,” Johnson senior George Visconti said..

Sign Up for E-News

Johnson led Oratory Prep by a score of 11-6 after the first quarter and didn’t allow their first basket of the game until the final two minutes of the quarter. Senior Ross Wildes scored his four points on back-to-back shots to keep his team in front.

During the second quarter, the Crusaders and Rams traded shots back-and-forth. The Rams got within 14-13 with 5:28 left in the second quarter, but the Crusaders slowed the Rams on defense, allowing chances to score.

“Our defense really helped us in the first half,” junior Brandon Hund said. “We weren’t shooting really that well at all. We were making shots, but weren’t shooting well as compared to other games. Us [starters] playing five people as one on defense always helps because the chemistry is always there.”

Hund and Visconti led the offensive charge for the Crusaders, with Hund adding eight points in the quarter, while Visconti tallied five.

Hund beat the buzzer with a three-point shot to send Johnson into halftime with a 24-18 lead over Oratory Prep. He finished the night with 18 points, while Visconti dished in 20 points for the Crusaders in the win.

Johnson led Oratory Prep 32-30 heading into the fourth quarter.  It was in the final quarter the Crusaders pulled away, as they outscored the Rams 19-9 in the final eight minutes.

 “We just had to stick together,” Johnson senior Jeff Drajin said. “This wasn’t just a regular season game, this was a conference game. We made a collective decision to come together and win this game.”

The Crusaders went on a 10-0 scoring run over a span of a minute and a half, powered by junior Brandon Hund and Visconti.

Visconti buried two free throws and Hund subsequently connected for a shot and was fouled, completing the three-point play with a free throw of his own, making the game 42-33 with Johnson out front.

The Crusaders forced the Rams into making shots, resulting in misses and more scoring chances.

“We got fantastic ball pressure, which makes them start their offense a little farther out, especially when we’re denying the wing as hard as we did,” Visconti said.

Hund connected for another shot and Visconti scored at the free throw line, with junior Brenden Kelly adding one of his own, the lead becoming 47-33 Crusaders with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter.

“We needed to separate one possession at a time,” Johnson head coach Dave Kennedy said. “We basically defended and made the bulk of our free throws. Anytime you keep a quality team under ten [points] in a quarter, you’ve done a really good job.”

The Johnson Crusaders (5-2) are back in action when they play Union HS, one of the games a part of the Eric LeGrand Classic on Sunday, January 14 at 2:30 p.m. at Kean University.

---------------

TAPintoClark.net  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

Clark

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

"All About Owls" Nature Presentation with The ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

"All About Owls" Nature Presentation with The ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 22, 9:00 AM

Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim, Cranford

Rummage Sale

Green Home & Garden

How to Report Potholes in Union County

April 21, 2018

With the winter weather finally winding down, potholes are a frequent issue for drivers. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders would like you to know there are resources you can use to report them to the proper agency.

"We certainly encourage drivers and commuters to report any pothole they encounter on roads throughout Union County to the responsible authority," said ...

Cranford Man Dies after Wrong-Way Crash on Route 9

April 10, 2018

WOODBRIDGE, NJ – A Cranford man died after his car collided with another vehicle on Route 9 on Sunday.

Thomas McHugh, 88, was driving north in the southbound fast lane on Route 9, where he crashed head-on into another vehicle. On impact, one of the cars caught fire, according to Sgt. Jim Chessere of the Woodbridge Police Department.

 McHugh was taken from the scene to Robert ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

Obituaries

- Apr 11, 2018
Clark—Carleen Nevargic, 81, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at her home ...
Read more