Tyrone Johnson spent the first half getting the ball to teammates and putting them in position to score. With the game on the line in the second half, the Villanova recruit called his own number a bit more often.
Johnson finished with a team-high 19 points, including a critical driving layup with the game on the line, to lead top-ranked Montrose Christian to a 64-59 victory over John Carroll of Bel Air, Md., in the quarterfinals of the National High School Invitiational on Friday at Georgetown Prep.
“I know myself, I can score when I want to, my job [at first] was to get everybody else involved and have a feel for the game and just play hard,” said Johnson, a 6-foot-3 senior who plays with considerable poise. “The second half came and I knew I had to step up. I had to either make a pass or big free throw. I had to do something as a point guard, as a leader, to step up and get the big ‘W.’ I’m happy to play tomorrow.”
Montrose Christian (23-1) will face either Winter Park, Fla., or Boys & Girls of New York City in Friday’s semifinals at 3:30 p.m.
Maryland recruit Justin Anderson, the Mustangs’ highly-touted junior, added 11 points and eight rebounds. Anderson’s best moment came late in the third quarter, when he stole the ball and went in for an uncontested dunk, then grabbed a loose ball in the lane and scored just before the buzzer, giving Montrose Christian a 51-43 lead.
Anderson also had a key block on a potential game-tying layup with just more than one minute remaining.
Michael Carrera, the Mustangs’ other junior forward with a scholarship offer from Maryland, finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.
“I thought [Carrera] was a beast, especially in the first half, scoring around the basket,” John Carroll Coach Tony Martin said.
Senior guard Tyler Hubbard finished with 12 points, making 4 of 5 three-point attempts for Montrose.
Senior guard Ronald Scott, who has signed with Central Connecticut State, scored 25 points for John Carroll (33-5), but the Patriots lost their third consecutive game to a Washington-area team, having lost to fourth-ranked DeMatha and fifth-ranked Gonzaga in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Frostburg, Md., two weeks ago.