The Dayton boys basketball team is fighting to get to the .500 mark for the first time this season, but its turning out to be tougher than expected.

Senior guard DJ Alicea scored a team-high 15 points and junior Mahki Cromartie, along with AC Corigliano, each added eight points apiece to pace Dayton in a 56-46 road loss to Johnson in Clark Thursday.

Trailing 26-22 at halftime, Johnson outscored Dayton, 14-6, in the third quarter to take control at 40-28 heading into the fourth quarter.

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Junior Aidan Laughery scored a game-high 16 points with eight rebounds and Matthew O’Connor added 14 points with six rebounds to lead Johnson (10-6), which swept the regular season series after a 54-48 triumph in Springfield on Jan. 14.

Johnson has won two straight and three of its last four games.

Alicea, who has 302 points on the season, has now scored in double figures in 63 straight games played and raised his school-leading career total to 1,377 points.

Junior Mike Kanarek posted seven points and junior Josh Jackson and sophomore Cameron Campbell-Miller each contributed four points apiece for the Bulldogs (7-9), which saw its three-game win streak snapped and lost for just the second time in its last six games.

The Bulldogs return to Mountain Avenue for three straight games, starting with Eagle Academy of Newark, on Monday, Feb. 10 at 7:00 p.m.

CHECK OUT FINAL RESULTS FOR DJ ALICEA: Last Thursday, NJ Advance Media ( posted a poll and article re: the top senior boys basketball players in the Garden State.

Our very own, DJ Alicea, made the list - CHECK OUT THE RESULTS HERE >