High School Sports

Big second half carries South Johnston by West Johnston girls

West Johnston’s Nadia Blevins (3) puts up a running shot as South Johnston’s Carmen Keene (21) tries to alter her shot.
West Johnston’s Nadia Blevins (3) puts up a running shot as South Johnston’s Carmen Keene (21) tries to alter her shot. newsobserver.com

South Johnston’s girls basketball team picked up its first victory of the season Monday night behind a double-double from Anna Webster.

Webster, a senior guard, scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead South Johnston to a 57-41 nonconference victory over West Johnston.

“(Webster) is an all-around good player for us,” South Johnston coach Ronda Johnson said. “She was as cold tonight as I have ever seen her shoot. She had a much better second half and we did as a team.

“Last year’s team looked to Anna for so much. Now they are having to realize that although Anna can do what she does, we have several girls who can score from the outside and we have people who can score inside. They just have to get confidence in each other.”

The Trojans (1-1) did get contributions from multiple players.

Sophomore guard Kelly Dorman had 11 points and senior point guard McKinley Johnson had nine points and 10 assists. Senior center Emma Blackman had 9 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.

The Trojans led by eight points at halftime but turned it up a notch in the second half to pull away.

“We started out a little sloppy,” coach Johnson said. “But we started crashing the boards better in the second half and getting second shots. And our shooting percentage went up.

West Johnston (1-1) was led by senior guard Christian Sanders with 21 points, but no other Wildcats scored in double figures.

“We’ve got a team that has three freshmen on it and a lot of time we have five guards on the floor,” West Johnston coach Laura Jefferson said. “I told them after the game that a lot what we have to work on is fundamental. But they are a very hard-working group. I wouldn’t trade this team for anybody.”

Turning point

Ahead 24-16 at halftime, South Johnston began the third period with a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 33-16. After a 3-pointer by West Johnston, the Trojans added a 7-0 run to go ahead 40-19.

They said it

“It’s big for them (to get that first win),” South Johnston coach Ronda Johnson said. “I hope this will give us some confidence and is something we can build on.”

Three who mattered

Anna Webster, South Johnston: The senior guard poured in 25 points on a night when she didn’t shoot well from the outside. Instead of settling for jump shots, Webster slashed to the basket for points and also grabbed 10 rebounds and scored on some second-chance opportunities.

Emma Blackman, South Johnston: The senior center had nine points and a team-high 12 rebounds and also blocked five shots.

Christian Sanders, West Johnston: The senior guard scored 21 points, using her quickness to drive to the basket.

Highlight reel

South Johnston’s Anna Webster showed her versatility in the final period. She scored on a jump shot in the lane for the Trojans’ first bucket of the period. She drained a 3-pointer for the Trojans’ next points and then later in the quarter drove to the basket, was fouled and completed a three-point play.

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