Scott carries Johnson to big city win

To St. Paul Central for their St. Paul City showdown with Johnson.  Johnson playing without Marcus Marshall (sick) and Estan Tyler (injury) so if there's any chance they lose a conference game this season, its tonight.  Almost a full house on hand so its nice to have a bit of atmosphere.  More than water on the beverage menu which is a nice sight after only seeing Central water there in past visits.  The Central band in attendance taking up an entire section with 100 members.   That means they get our daily music selection.

Song of the Day
Low Rider - War

Game Time
Roosevelt Scott the remaining member of the big 3 needed to step up and he started strong.  A pullup jumper, a drive where he missed both freebies and then signing a poster on a dunk at the 13:18 mark.  10-8 Johnson leads.  Martin Smith tips in a miss and Montrell Williams nails a jumper for a 19-15 Central lead at the 9:45 mark.  Smith on the post for 2 and he adds a later free throw.  24 all at the 6:12 mark  Smith picks up his 3rd foul and has to sit at the 3:47 mark  2 Will McDonough free throws at 2:50 cut the Johnson lead to 30-29.  Scott with 5 in a row (Montrell Williams 3rd foul), a turnover for 2 Anthony Lee free throws, Scott with a steal for 2 and another turnover for a Waylon Johnson layup.  Its an 11-0 run in 1:31 as Central just can't deal with the Johnson 2-2-1 press.  Central with the last 4 of the half to trail 41-33 at the break.

Martin Smith picks up his fourth foul at the 16:35 mark as he fouls Scott for 1 free throw.  Then Scott with a steal for another dunk followed by a Trey Coffman layup and the lead is 12.  Timeout Central down 46-34 with 15:42 left.  Montrell Williams led Central with 10 first half points but he picks up his 4th at the 14:29 mark.  That's another Scott free throw which he follows with an uncontested drive to the rack for layup.   Then another turnover for a layup to push the lead to 15.  1 free throw at the 10:34 mark for Central cuts the lead to 57-44.  That's as close as Central will get.  Scott with a layup before he picks up his 4th and has to sit at the 8:31 mark.  61-44 Johnson and Smith and Williams are still on the bench.  If a run was to be made it was right there, so I would have gotten them right in the game.  Frosh Markus Taylor-Knighten then picks up his 4th 20 seconds later and you have 3 of your 4 top players on the bench with 4 in a blowout.  Scott comes back in the game and makes 1 more leaner before fouling out with 6:23 left.  Montrell Williams doesn't come back in until the 6:03 mark, Smith and Knighten don't come back until 5:40 left.  By that time the lead is 20 and this one is long since over.  Smith adds on 9 late points that don't matter as those foul trouble kids played until the end.  That just didn't make sense to me.  Play them when Scott is on the bench with 4 and take your chances and then get the end of the bench kids in if you don't make the comeback.  Johnson wins 83-62.

Post Game
For Central, they fall to 9-8 and 3-2 in the St. Paul City.  That's a 3 way tie for 2nd with Highland Park and Como Park.  Martin Smith 17 points and 9 rebounds but half of those stats were after he came back in late in the blowout.  Markus Taylor-Knighten a productive night with 9 points and close to double-digit boards despite some foul trouble.  Coach Howell still insists on using William McDonough at the point, he had 12 points but 8 turnovers.  That's just not playing to his strong points as a scorer especially when you have a true point guard, Diallo Powell, in your rotation.  The Minutemen start a difficult 5 game stretch next week with games at Highland Park and Concordia.  1st 4 of those games are on the road and then a home grudge match with Orono in 3 weeks.  Central pulled the upset at Orono last season.

For Johnson, Roosevelt Scott steps up big with 32 points on 11-16 shooting.  18 of those in the first half and then big points in the second half to break the game open.  Anthony Lee 11 points and 8 other players score for the Governors.  Their pressure defense forced anywhere in the range of 30-40 turnovers so the rematch at Johnson to end the season with Tyler and Marshall healthy could be really ugly.  Though Johnson likely won't have anything to play for in that game since Central already has another league loss.  The teams combined for 52 fouls resulting in 37-60 makes.  Johnson is now 16-2 (16-0 MN opponents) and sweeps the 1st round of St. Paul play at 5-0.  Their league winning streak is now is at 39 since January of 2008 (when Central beat them).  They host Como Park on Tuesday.

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