Point guard Tracy Johnson scored 27 points Tuesday night as the Avalon Black Knights won their season opener against St. John’s Catholic Prep 64-57.
In addition to leading the team with 29 points, Johnson also recorded five assists and collected four rebounds. He guided the team to an 11-0 run to start the first quarter. Avalon never trailed during the game.
Johnson sank 16 out of his 23 shot attempts and forced one key starter on SJCP to foul out in the fourth quarter.
A big question for this team going into last night’s game was how to replace starting two guard Emmett Sloan, who is out due to a bad elbow injury. The answer Tuesday was junior Corey Foland.
Foland started the game and often rotated in and out with seniors Rachid Ibrahim and John Paul McPherson. The three combined for nine points, eight rebounds, and five steals.
Coach Kevin Davern, making his debut as Avalon’s varsity head coach, employed a frequent substitution technique to keep his players fresh and the Vikings on their toes.
Meanwhile, senior Phil Corcoran and junior Berthin Mayo were dominant in the post all night. The two combined for 19 points and 21 boards, in addition to four blocks and countless affected shots.
Avalon jumped out to a 16-8 first quarter lead, and a 33-20 halftime lead. The Black Knights were able to take advantage of the frequent foul shot opportunities, most coming from reaches in attempts to shut down Johnson.
The closest the Vikings ever got to closing the gap came in that fourth quarter, where they caught fire and scored 26 points to close the deficit to six points.
However, Johnson made key free throws while Corcoran and Mayo executed clutch shots down the stretch to sealed the deal.
Avalon opens the Sidwell Friends Tournament Friday with a 3:30 p.m. tipoff with Friendship Collegiate.
- 2012 Avalon Basketball Preview (theavalonchronicles.wordpress.com)