CLARION — Tied at 28 after three quarters, the Johnsonburg boys basketball team held Eden Christian to just two points on two foul shots in the fourth quarter in their first round game of the PIAA Class A Tournament.
The only problem was the Rams were held scoreless in that fourth quarter as the Warriors, the sixth place team out of the WPIAL, eliminated Johnsonburg, 30-28, on Friday evening at Clarion University.
The Rams were held to just three field goals in the second half at a time when not much could find the net.
“We had some good looks and we missed some layups,” said Johnsonburg coach Bill Shuey. “I’m not saying their defense was any better than ours. We shut them down too. It was a battle. We held a team that averages 69 points to 30.
“There’s always those ups and downs. Tonight a couple of those shots that went in on some of the games we won didn’t go in tonight.
“I think the pressure may have got to some of the kids and they were timid. They weren’t looking to score. I thought there were a couple times we could’ve taken the ball to the basket and we were looking to pass.”
Eden Christian’s (17-6) Dylan Kingman hit the only two free throws in the fourth quarter –one with 4:47 left and another with less than a second left.
Kingman was put on the line after a missed Johnsonburg shot that would have given them the lead. After missing the free throw, Kingman got his own rebound and was put on the line again. He hit the front end of two free throws.
Johnsonburg jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but the Warriors cut it to a two-point game by the end of the first quarter at 10-8.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the second quarter before the Rams put up five points in the final minute to take a three-point lead to halftime.
Down 17-15, Austin Green hit a three to re-take the lead, while Ben Freeburg’s jumper at the buzzer gave Johnsonburg a 20-17 lead at the break.
The Rams led by as much as five in the third quarter before Eden Christian got it to a tie game at 28 by the end of the third.
Green had 13 points to lead Johnsonburg. Chase Haring led the Warriors with 13, as well.
Johnsonburg finished the season at 19-8, including the District 9 Class A championship. It was the final games of the careers of seniors Kacey Raubenstrauch, Trevor Lobaugh, Tyler Singer and Freeburg.
“They poured their heart and soul to this program over four years,” said Shuey. “I had a real connection with those four and I appreciate everything that they have put forth to their program, and their dedication and support to me.”
Eden Christian will take on Shanksville-Stonycreek in the second round on Tuesday. Shanksville-Stonycreek beat St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, 63-51, on Friday.