Other Stories by Anthony Anderson
Reporter Anthony Anderson covers sports for the Elkhart Truth.

Blazer sophomore Johnson drains six triples as Central sails by Jimtown

Sophomore nets career-high 22 points as Elkhart Central prevails 69-49.

Posted on Feb. 1, 2014 at 11:54 p.m.

ELKHART — Elkhart Central coach Troy Noble’s eyes widened as he mentioned how good Langston Johnson might become once the sophomore shooting guard "puts on some muscle mass." As far as Jimtown’s concerned, Johnson’s strong enough already.

The raily, 5-foot-9 sophomore swished 6-of-11 on 3-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points as the Blue Blazers sailed past the Jimmies 69-49 in boys high school basketball Saturday, Feb. 1, at North Side Gym.

"Everybody was giving me the ball with great passes, and in spots I could just get and shoot it," Johnson said after the Blazers ended a three-game losing skid. "My teammates got me the ball, and that’s how I got my points."

In the first matchup in 26 years between the schools that are a mere six miles apart, Central was able to decisively out-man Jimtown on the glass (32-20, with a 15-5 advantage in second-chance points), out-man the guests in terms of depth (a 23-9 advantage in bench points) and out-man them in dictating tempo (the Jimmies had 13 turnovers to the Blazers’ eight).

Central improved to 5-9. Jimtown slipped to 5-7 with its fourth straight loss and most lopsided loss of the season.

"We were able to speed the game up and that favored us," Noble said. "We wore them out with our depth, and obviously the way Langston Johnson shot the ball helped us."

"(Central) did a very good job of attacking the basket, and when we tried to cover the attack, they kicked it out and (Johnson) made the shots," Jimtown coach Ron Dietz said. "I thought they did a nice job recognizing things and played very hard. They really put the pressure on us and kept us out of getting into offensive sets."

Junior Treyton Harris scored 12 points for the Blazers, senior Tre Taylor 10 and sophomore Clinton Parker eight.

"I’m obviously pleased — pleased with our effort, pleased with our bench," Noble said. "I thought everybody was engaged and we got positive play from everybody who had the opportunity to play."

It was Central's third straight outing with this latest starting lineup, one that includes a freshman, two sophomores and two juniors. Five other players who have started, including four seniors, are currently coming off the bench.

"This is (intended to be) our set starting lineup," Noble said. "We have to look at what's in the best interests of the program, and if you look at the three games, we played played Concord to the wire, played Penn hard at their place and won by 20 tonight."

"Our seniors are coming in and helping us," Johnson said, "and with some of the experience they have, it helps us in the long run."

Saturday's game started out as if it would be back-and-forth. By 1:50 into the second quarter, there already had been eight lead changes and four ties.

But then the Blazers took the lead for good at 25-24 on one of Johnson's treys and steadily pulled away over the rest of the evening.

"I think (wearing down) was some of it," Dietz said of how a seemingly tight contest opened up. "We're young, we don't play a whole lot of kids, seven or eight, and (Central) came at us with a lot of energy, got some steals and played good defense."

"I thought Jaron Walters' defensive play really dictated the game turning our way," Noble said. "He did a good job boxing out and really played a good floor game."

Walters made back-to-back steals that resulted in transition scores by Parker as the Blazers pushed their lead to 35-26 with  two minutes left in the second quarter.

Central led 40-32 at halftime, 57-42 through three periods and stretched the gap to 62-42 a minute into the final quarter. The lead swelled to 69-45 with 3:08 remaining before the Jims scored the final four points.

"Our kids are still working very hard at improving and I've been pleased with that," Dietz said. "As I've said, we've got a young group (one senior)."

Sophomore Trevor Hobbs paced Jimtown with 13 points. Junior Nick Floyd added 11.


Jimtown — Chase Hoeflinger 0-3 0-0 0, Nick Floyd 4-9 0-0 11, Trevor Hobbs 5-7 3-6 13, Adam DeShone 3-6 0-0 7, Dylan Guldager 2-6 5-6 9, Austin Secor 1-2 0-0 2, KainTempleton 1-1 0-0 3, Sam Pawlak 2-3 0-0 4, Blane Bender 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Vicsik 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 18-38 (.474) 8-12 (.667) 49.

Central — Aaron Flax 2-7 0-1 4, Cornell Conner 2-5 0-0 4, Treyton Harris 5-11 1-1 12, Langston Johnson 7-12 2-2 22, Antwaan Allen 1-4 2-2 4, Derald Gray 2-2 1-1 5, Tre Taylor 4-6 2-2 10, Jaron Walters 0-0 0-2 0, ClintonParker 4-6 0-0 8, Genoris Crawford 0-1 0-0 0, Isaiah Coatie 0-0 0-0 0, Tristan Culbeath 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 27-55 (.491) 8-11 (.727) 69

Scoring By Quarters

Jimtown — 16 16 10 7 — 49

Central — 16 24 17 12 — 69

3-point goals: Jimtown (5-13) — Floyd 3-7, Templeton 1-1, DeShone 1-3; Central (7-16) — Johnson 6-11, Harris 1-2.

Rebounds: Jimtown (20) —Hoeflinger 6, Hobbs 4; Central (32) — Flax 5, Conner 5, Harris 4, Allen 4, Gray 4.

Assists: Jimtown (14) — Guldager 4, Hoeflinger 3, DeShone 3; Central (13) — Allen 3.

Steals: Jimtown (1) — Floyd; Central (8) — Walters 3, Johnson 2.

Turnovers: Jimtown 13, Central 8.

Total fouls: Jimtown 13, Central 14. Fouled out — none.

Officials: John Walczewski, Bruce Klonowski, Nick Mark.

Records: Central 5-9, Jimtown 5-7.

Next: Elkhart Christian at Jimtown Tuesday, Feb. 4; Central at SB Washington Friday, Feb. 7.

JV: Central 30, Jimtown 23. Top scorers: Central — Clinton Parker 11, Quincey Washington 9; Jimtown — Blane Bender 8, Dalton Whitman 6. JV records: Central 6-8, Jimtown 7-5.


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