St. Joe remedy: Johnson and Johnson
HUNTINGTON -- When Parkersburg Catholic came to Huntington hoping to slow down the tempo against Huntington St. Joe's top-ranked girls team, the Irish had a perfect remedy.
And it's one that many know as a household name.
It's called Johnson and Johnson.
Junior Mychal Johnson set the defensive tone for the game early and finished one steal shy of a triple-double while freshman Mychelle Johnson burst onto the scene with a complete performance in a 73-45 win over the Crusaders to claim the Class A, Region IV championship.
"Mychal got the turnovers early and got us some easy buckets," Huntington St. Joe head coach Shannon Lewis said. "Parkersburg Catholic was focusing on Mychal and Griff (Dempsey) and Mychelle took advantage of that, too, and played really well."
Mychal Johnson, the junior who has already verbally committed to Notre Dame, finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine steals to lead the Irish.
The elder Johnson dictated the tempo from the onset with steals in three of Parkersburg Catholic's first four possessions.
The end result was a 14-3 lead midway through the first quarter, which forced the Crusaders to scrap the gameplan of slowing the tempo and getting into a half-court game.
Parkersburg Catholic got within seven on a basket by Alex Schaffer, but a 10-0 run thwarted the comeback attempt.
Mychal and Mychelle Johnson each netted 3-pointers during the stretch which helped lead the Irish to a 40-22 halftime advantage. Both had 10 points in the first half.
Lewis was unhappy with his team missing lots of open shots in the early going that could've stretched the margin further and put the game out of reach, but he was pleased to see Mychelle Johnson -- the only freshman in the lineup -- to step up when called upon.
Mychelle finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in the regional championship.
"A lot of times, she sits back and lets the older kids do it, but tonight was an opportunity for her to step up because some of them were struggling," Lewis said. "She did what she's capable of. I think we'll see that more down the road from her."
Asia Petitte finished with 13 of her 19 points in the second half for Huntington St. Joe, which also got 12 from Dempsey -- all in the first half.
Parkersburg Catholic got 16 points from Leah Hughes while Alex Schaffer finished with 15 points in the loss, which ends the season at 15-8.
Huntington St. Joe is likely going to be the No. 1 seed for next week's Class A state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum, but brackets will not be released officially until Friday morning.
If the Irish are the No. 1 seed, they will play at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
PARKERSBURG CATHOLIC 9 13 6 17 -- 45: Schaffer 15, E. Roedersheimer 2, Hughes 16, M. Roedersheimer 3, Nill 7, Sturm 2.
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 19 21 17 16 -- 73: Mychal Johnson 21, Petitte 19, Mychelle Johnson 15, Dempsey 12, Jeffrey 4, R. Lee 2.