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St. Joe's Johnson player of year

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 11:45 PM

HUNTINGTON - It was quite a season for Huntington St. Joe girls basketball standout Mychal Johnson.

Johnson, the 5-9 junior guard, led the Irish to a 25-1 record on the season, which ended with a 73-32 dismantling of St. Marys in the Class A championship game.

The title was the fifth-consecutive Class A title for the Irish, but there was one post-season honor that was a first for Huntington St. Joe.

Johnson was named the 2013 Gatorade West Virginia Girls Basketball Player of the Year on Thursday afternoon.

"This is the first time anyone from St. Joe has ever won Gatorade Player of the Year," Johnson said. "Basketball-wise, I don't think we could've done much more this year as a team. With our schedule, to get 25 wins and win the state championship by 41 points and soon after, for me to be named Gatorade Player of the Year, it capped off a great year."

Johnson found out about the honor after head coach Shannon Lewis gathered the entire school into the gymnasium to make the announcement at the end of school on Thursday afternoon.

It was an honor that was well-received by the Notre Dame commit, who was surprised.

"I was walking out in the hall and people were asking 'What are we going to the gym for?' I had no clue," Johnson said. "We were wondering if Andrew (Wiggins) or Carlos (Arroyo) were signing. We got there and Shannon announced I was Gatorade Player of the Year. It was pretty cool because no one knew."

On the season, Johnson averaged 21.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists and five steals per game to lead Huntington St. Joe.

Some of her most complete efforts came during the high school state tournament where she came close to averaging a quadruple-double in the three lopsided wins.

Johnson averaged 17.3 points, 10 assists, 9.0 rebounds and 7.0 steals in the three-game stretch. The Irish never had a game any closer than 32 points and set the record for margin of victory in a state tournament at 44.3 points per game.

She had two triple-doubles in the tournament's three games.

The overall versatility of Johnson earned her a scholarship offer as a junior from Notre Dame, who recently won the Big East tournament and is No. 2 nationally. Johnson is ranked in the top 25 of all prospects nationally for the Class of 2014.

Johnson's overall game drew accolades from Warren (Ohio) head coach Amy Colgrove, who talked about what impressed her the most about the St. Joe guard's game.

"Mychal Johnson is the best high school player I have seen this year," said Colgrove. "With our schedule, we played against five guards that have signed with Division I programs and I believe she is better than all of them. She is not only a good perimeter shooter, she is also very explosive and can get to the rim."

Johnson's success is not just limited to the court, however.

In the classroom, Johnson boasts of a 3.79 grade point average and is a member of National Honor Society.

She is also active in the community and helped with a charity game earlier this week in which the St. Joe girls and Huntington Prep boys split up teams to raise money for UNICEF.

As a junior, Johnson now has a chance to repeat as Gatorade Player of the Year during her senior year. If able to do so, she would join North Marion's Mariah Byard (2010 and 2011) and Huntington High's Whitney Bays (2008 and 2009) as recent players to accomplish the feat.

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