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Dec, 2019

Jags Look Dominant In Win Over Steele

By: Antonio G. Castillo

San Antonio, TX-

The only time the Johnson Jaguars trailed on Monday night, was after Steele guard Akhwari Smith put back a miss on the offensive end for the Knights to start the game. For that one possession the Jags were behind, but then used buckets from Kendall Dow, Shane Johnson, and Joseph Taylor to mount a 12-0 run to catapult right back in front. 

Johnson closed the first quarter with a 20-7 lead, and only continued the onslaught in the second quarter. The trio of Jags all reached double figures by halftime, and it helped Johnson double up Steele, outscoring them 21-10 in the frame, giving them a  41-17 halftime lead.

Head Coach Jay Keller talked about the quick start by his team.

"We came out and we've been really struggling the first quarter of a lot of games. That was kind of our main emphasis, is come out and try to match. We knew that they were going to come out intense, pick us up full court, we had to somehow match that. I thought our boys did that tonight. I thought the first quarter was the key to the game."

In the first half, junior guard Joseph Taylor paced the Jags with 15pts, Shane Johnson had 13, and Kendall Dow 10pts. All key cogs as to why Johnson had built a 24 point advantage at the break.

The Jags would remain in control for the rest of the game, leading comfortably by double digits, getting as high as a 25 point cushion before the Knights began to chip away. Steele was able to trim the lead and get within 10 points late in the game with less than a minute to play. Chris Benson would connect on one of his three treys, but Shane Johnson would answer. As he did all night, would get a tough bucket down low, with the contact, and then sink the free throw for the eventual final, 71-57.

Johnson had a game high 29 points, and 10 rebounds. The 6'2" forward even showed some range connecting on a couple of three pointers. He used his strong frame to attack the hole and constantly finish at the rim.

"Shane does a lot of things for us. He's also our leading rebounder, leads us in shooting percentage, and trips to the free throw line. We expect a lot from him. He had to sit out last year, he got hurt, so he's very excited to be on the floor. Like I said he does a lot of things for us. He's our five at sometimes, he's our one at other times. He had a great all around game, but it's nothing that I haven't seen here for the last fifteen games," said Coach Keller.

Teammate Joseph Taylor wasn't far behind, dropping 22 pts of his own, all which came from within the arc as the Knight defense had no answer for his quickness and acceleration to the hole.

In the loss, junior guard Akhwari Smith led Steele with 19 points and was a key cog in their comeback attempt.

With the win, the Jags now move to 14-6 on the season and play two more non-district foes before getting ready for district play. Steele falls to 8-6 and will next prepare for the Allen Holiday Invitational Tournament.