Johnson didn’t enjoy the junior season he anticipated, but in the Royals’ 81-70 CHSAA Class AA intersectional quarterfinal win over St. Raymond he came up big. The Queensbridge product scored 16 points and played solid defense on Ravens’ wing Omari Lawrence, limiting the outstanding junior to 21 points.
“He made some big plays,” Christ the King Coach Bob Oliva said of his 6-foot-3 guard. “He brought us energy.”
With Erving Walker and Ryan Pearson, the two Division I-bound seniors, combining for 60 points, Johnson’s performance added depth to what had been a two-man attack for much of the year. He was the third scorer the Royals desperately need to repeat as city champions.
“He’s very important,” Pearson said. “He’s the X-factor. Without him we wouldn’t win these games.”
The key, Pearson said, is for Johnson to remain calm and composed. He often lets small things distract him. He can loses his temper or focus from time to time. Against the Ravens, however, he didn’t let two air balls bother him. Instead, he relentless attacked the rim, scoring most of his points in the paint.
“I just tried to keep my head,” he said. “I can help my team more. I had to step up.”
“When his attitude is correct, he doesn’t get upset, he’s going to be a real good player,” Pearson said.