Jonathan Dayton Basketball Storms Past Johnson in Final Tune-Up Before State Tournaments

ALJ warms up.   Credits: Daniel Collins
ALJ taking warm-up shots before the game began Thursday night.   Credits: Daniel Collins
Strategizing at the start of the first quarter.   Credits: Daniel Collins
Crusaders taking warm-up shots before the second half began. Credits: Daniel Collins

SPRINGFIELD, NJ-  The Johnson Crusaders and the Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs took it to the floor in a final tune-up for both schools before the state tournaments begin next week. The Bulldogs dominated throughout the entire game, winning by a score of 72-42 Thursday night in Springfield.

In the first quarter, Dayton had a 9-0 scoring run, turning a 5-4 lead into a 14-4 lead within a time span of two minutes. The Bulldogs led 20-7 after the first eight minutes.

The second quarter had Dayton build on their lead on the strength of  an 18-0 scoring run that sent the game to halftime up 44-13.  The run continued early into the second half as the Bulldogs sank two more for a lead of 48-13 before the Crusaders answered.

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For Dayton, senior Amir Mayfield led all scorers with 21 points on the night, while senior Eli Clayton would add 14 points of his own in the victory.

“We’ve got to have three great practices and come ready to win a ball game,” said Johnson head coach David Kennedy. “We’re going to take what we learned through an entire season, all the good and the bad, and try to be a little better come Monday.”

Dayton controlled all aspects of the game, connecting on turnovers, and creating several opportunities to score points, leading by as much as 32 points after the third quarter.

Johnson was led by freshmen George Visconti’s 14 points, while senior and co-captain Dan O’Donnell contributed 12 points in the loss.

 “Just forget about it [the game],” said O’Donnell. “Our first half was absolutely terrible. It was a poor showing of who we were. The second half was better, but still wasn’t our best. We need to forget about this game and realize that we’re the better team come Monday.”

Next up, the Johnson Crusaders (12-11) play at North Plainfield in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 state tournament first round Monday night at 6pm, while the Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs (13-10) play against Secaucus High School Tuesday night in the NJSIAA North 2, Group 1 state tournament first round.

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