Boyd County coach Pete Fraley said Mychal Johnson is the best player his team will play against. She adequately filled out that description.
Johnson had 36 points as Huntington St. Joe defeated Boyd County 53-47 in the opening contest of the Boyd County Roundball Classic.
“If there is any better I don’t want to see them,” Fraley laughed. “She’s the real deal. She’s the best player I’ve seen playing high school basketball in a long time.”
The Irish were coming into the game without starting guard Griffin Dempsey, who sat out with a shoulder injury.
Johnson, along with scoring duties, had to take care of ball-handling duties as well.
“When you have the ball in your hands for 32 minutes it takes a toll on you,” said St. Joe coach Shannon Lewis. “She’s just an incredible player. You could tell she was tired, but she pulled through for us.”
While Johnson had a big night for the Irish, Boyd County carried a 37-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
Taylor Wheeler led the way for the Lady Lions with 18 points and seven rebounds while having to share duties of guarding Johnson.
“If there is someone tougher than Taylor Wheeler we haven’t found them,” Fraley said. “She is so strong, she’s a bull in there. She guarded Mychal there, and for a while (Johnson’s) shot wasn’t falling. But at the same time we wore Taylor out as well. ”
Logan Fraley also had a big night for the Lady Lions, scoring 13 points and hitting all four of Boyd County’s 3-pointers.
But Huntington St. Joe turned up the pressure in the fourth with a full court press. Boyd County committed several turnovers and never got its offense into a rhythm.
Boyd County does itself no favors today either, taking on a 7-0 Wheelersburg team with tipoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
“I told them I’m not going to schedule you wins to pad your stats,” Fraley said.
ST. JOE 8 19 6 20 — 53
BOYD CO. 9 14 14 10 — 47
Huntington St. Joe (53) — Mychal Johnson 36, Ra. Lee 10, Petitte 7, Re. Lee, Mychelle Johnson, Gale, Anderson. FT: 18-21. 3-PT FG: 3 (Mychal Johnson 3). PF: 15. Technical Foul: Bench.
Boyd County (47) — Stewart 6, Wheeler 18, Fraley 13, Hu. Reeves 2, Coburn 4, Kenser 4, Hou. Reeves, Lunsford, Goins. FT: 7-12. 3-PT FG: 4 (Fraley 4). PF: 15.
Boyd County 81
Shelby Valley 70
Boyd County coach Randy Anderson has not had good luck against Shelby Valley.
Friday night, the Lions finally found a way past the Wildcats in the second game of the Roundball Classic.
“They’re a school with a state championship banner hanging in their gym,” Anderson said. “I haven’t had a good history with them because when I was at Lawrence County they beat us in the region finals.
“For us to be down ... and to get ourselves back in the game in the fourth quarter and take over the game, it was a big win for us.”
Boyd County (3-2) found itself down by as much as nine in the first three quarters of the game.
The Lions came back with a 27-point fourth quarter, and a huge game from senior Todd Stacy, who had 18 points in the game, 12 coming in the fourth quarter.
“I just kept telling him to quit pressing,” Anderson said. “Don’t try to do too much and just be Todd. And tonight he was 4 of 5 from the arc. He relaxed and let the game come to him tonight.”
Anderson credits Boyd County’s picking up its aggression in the fourth quarter, especially senior guard Austin Hunt.
Hunt finished with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds. He also had five assists by aggressively driving the ball to the basket.
“As the game went on our transition got better,” Anderson said. “Austin did get to the rim and if he didn’t, it gave us great space. Stacy hits those corner threes and there is no one there because of that.”
The Lions shot well from the charity stripe as well, finishing 28 of 36.
Brandon Lowe finished with 18 points for Boyd County (3-2), while Jesse Wallace added 10.
Shelby Valley (4-1) took an early lead as it played an inside-out game, looking toward Andrew Newsome, who led the Wildcats with 20 points on 71-percent shooting.
The Wildcats also had five 3-pointers.
Anderson said Shelby Valley’s inside game was what worried him. Boyd County outrebounded the Wildcats, 34-26.
Both teams will play today in the second day of the Roundball Classic.
Shelby Valley will play East Carter in the opening contest at noon, while Boyd County hosts Mason County in final game of the event.
SHELBY VALLEY 17 24 13 16 — 70
BOYD CO. 15 23 15 27 — 81
Shelby Valley (70) — Hamilton 16, Swindall 18, Richardson 14, Newsome 20, Huffman 2, Lucas, Rowe, Wright. FT: 5-10. 3-PT FG: 5 (Hamilton 2, Swindall 2, Richardson). PF: 24.
Boyd County (81) — Hunt 21, Wallace 10, Stacey 18, Taylor 4, Lowe 18, Anderson 4, Burgess 6, Griffith. FT: 28-36. 3-PT FG: 7 (Stacey 4, Burgess 2, Hunt). PF: 15.
Huntington Prep 61
Walnut Hills 54
Kentucky Blue surrounded Boyd County Middle School as Huntington Prep continued its tear with a win over Cincinnati Walnut Hills.
No. 1 high school prospect, and Kentucky recruit, Andrew Wiggins was on full display for Huntington Prep. He scored 32 points on 61-percent shooting.
The highly touted prospect had a double-double with 10 rebounds, including two putback dunks that brought a lot of blue-clad fans to their feet.
Ohio University signee D.J. Wingfield led Walnut Hills with 17 points, while Akron signee Isaiah Johnson had 17 points as well.
Huntington Prep will play against Arlington Country Day of Jacksonville, Fla., tonight at 7.
WALNUT HILLS 15 7 10 22 — 54
HUNTINGTON PREP 17 14 14 16 — 61
Walnut Hills (54) — Wingfield 17, Johnson 17, Burton 2, Irby 2, Hill 2, Jackson 8, Gilmore 6, Brown, Tyson. FT: 5-9. 3-PT FG: 3 (Gilmore 2, Wingfield).
Huntington Prep (61) — Wiggins 32, Gill-Ceasar 8, Rathan-Mayes 8, Landry 2, Woodson 7, Kingsley 4, Strake. FT: 10-18. 3-PT FG: 3 (Wiggins 2, Rathan-Mayes).